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Crime Coverage Guidelines

  1. We will avoid showing corpses for any story. The News Director must approve any exception only when the picture adds significant information to the story. In the event a corpse will be shown, an on-air warning must be issued at least 10 seconds before the video is aired. Corpses will not be shown on our website.
  2. We will not interview grieving family members of a crime victim unless we have their permission. We will state in the script that we ask for, and received, their permission.
  3. We will not report the names, or show the pictures, of juveniles unless they have been charged with a crime as an adult. Even then, the final decision will be made by the News Director.
  4. We will make every attempt not to show live pictures of police swat and tactical teams during breaking news coverage. We will never attempt to contact a hostage-taker during an incident.
  5. We will never report the name, or identify in any way, any victim of a sex crime unless that person comes forward and wishes to identify themselves.
  6. Race must never be used as the sole identifying characteristic in identifying a crime suspect. A suspect description will only be included when provided by authorities.
  7. We will not cover suicides unless they are unusual in nature, involve a public figure, or occur in a public place. Senior news management must approve the decision to report on a suicide.
  8. We will look beyond the singular act of a crime. Crime trends and prevention measures are as important as the crime itself. When possible, major crime stories should include information on how the audience can help solve the crime by offering contact information for crime solving organizations.

If you have comments, thoughts, or feedback for us regarding our crime coverage - email us at editorials@wtsp.com