Essay Example on Media Freedom and Rights of Privacy

3 pages
678 words
George Washington University
Type of paper: 
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

What balance should be maintained between freedom of the media to obtain information during criminal investigation and the rights to privacy of the individuals involved?

The criminal investigation process should ensure that balance is reached between the media freedom of information and the rights of privacy of the accused, but on many occasions that balanced is not achieved (Jacobs & Larrauri, 2012). In the world where media has taken over, especially social media majority of the crimes that are committed become publicized regarding the criminal or the case becomes eventually becomes misconstrued. The victim service providers have a critical role in ensuring that the victims privacy rights are protected. Crime is a significant concern to the public in general, and a majority of people always wants to know about crime (Huberts & Six, 2012). The media plays a crucial role in this process in ensuring that the public is informed by covering crime stories.

Over the years, the coverage of crime and victimization has changed, and footage of crime scenes and victims have become common, despite the outcries from the advocates of the victim. The media has played a significant role in covering high profile crimes among other societal ills that are related to crime as well as victimization, and has had both positive and negative impact on policies and programs that are relevant to the existing justice systems, the juvenile justice, the rights of victims and services (Phillips, 2013). Media coverage of just a single report to a widespread coverage of key issues has affected the delivery of victim and justice services. The criminal investigation bodies such as the police and the secret service agents should, however, take the responsibility of informing the media of what exactly is going in the communities, because the people always want to know what is going on around them (Jacobs &Larrauri, 2012). Attaining balance means that the criminal investigation processes should be in the forefront in ensuring that the right information reaches them (Huberts & Six, 2012). They should be in control of what the media accesses and they should be ready to respond any questions that are asked by the various media outlets. Sometimes the information may reach the public without the criminal investigation process being aware, but they should take responsibility for ensuring that they can explain what has been published in the media. Criminal investigation process has increasingly found it difficult to control information flow with the influence of social media (Phillips, 2013).

A set of guidelines are used during criminal investigation processes. It is crucial that the investigators utilize these guidelines to ensure efficient flow of information while investigating the case. They should utilize a single strategy that would ensure efficient investigation follow-up regarding the case. This way they will be able to have control especially during reporting of information (Huberts & Six, 2012). It is critical to consider that there are different reporting strategies for different crimes. Investigators should ensure that they have total ownership and control of information hence ensuring they protect the privacy rights of the victims, the alleged perpetrators and at the same time ensuring that the media has its freedom to transmit the information (Phillips, 2013). A balance can also be reached if the media play its role of doing a deep investigation into the matter and engaging with the criminal investigators before they draw any conclusions. It is important to note that the media can sometimes transmit pre-mature information that can directly affect the victims or the perpetrators negatively. They should ensure that they take caution regarding the type of information to transmit to the public and which ones to retain, especially if it touched on the privacy and confidentiality of the victim or the perpetrator (Huberts & Six, 2012).


Jacobs, J. B., & Larrauri, E. (2012). Are criminal convictions a public matter? The USA and Spain. Punishment & Society, 14(1), 3-28.

Huberts, L. W., & Six, F. E. (2012). Local integrity systems: Toward a framework for comparative analysis and assessment. Public Integrity, 14(2), 151-172.

Phillips, A. (2013). Journalism, ethics and the impact of competition. In Ethics of Media (pp. 255-270). Palgrave Macmillan UK.

Have the same topic and dont`t know what to write?
We can write a custom paper on any topic you need.

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the website, please click below to request its removal: