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In the Aftermath of MVI: Crime Victims and the News Media

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2020
2 pages

These guidelines from the National Mass Violence Victimization Resource Center are intended to assist victims, survivors, and witnesses in a mass violence incident (MVI) make informed choices about interaction with the news media in the immediate and long-term aftermath of the MVI.


For the purpose of these guidelines, the term "media" refers to news and educational print and broadcast representatives, but not persons involved in businesses of entertainment, direct mail, telephone, or fax. The term "victim" refers to victims and survivors of MVIs, as well as witnesses. In the immediate aftermath of an MVI, media representatives respond immediately to the scene along with first responders. The establishment of protective perimeters may still be in process when the media converge on the site. This involves interaction with victims and witnesses that may be intrusive or unwanted. Personnel at the MVI Response Center, Family Assistance Center, and/or Resiliency Center can help coordinate media relations in the immediate circumstances and aftermath of a MVI. The presented guidelines address features of responsible media reporting and informed consent by victims. Among the features of responsible media behavior are identification of the reporter, priority given to the safety of victims over reporting, acceptance of a victim's preference not to be interviewed, and concern for the accuracy of victim names and other information.