Op-Ed: Hey, Reporters, Stop Blaming Crashes on the Victims

November 20, 2019

A new academic paper by authors Tara Goddard, Kelcie Ralph, Calvin G. Thigpen and Evan Iacobucci says that if reporters could shift away from victim-blaming news coverage, politicians would be forced to truly address the problem of vehicle violence. A team of researchers found that even subtle differences in how an article is framed greatly affects readers’ interpretation of crashes and their attitudes toward policy. The paper (excerpted below) recommends that journalists provide context for crashes as they cover the mounting carnage in our streets. And reporters should never remove the agency from crashes by suggesting, say, that a “car” did something bad when, in fact, it was a driver — a human being — who erred.

StreetsblogUSA, November 18, 2019

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