Media reporting of homicide in the digital age

Miss Laura Wajnryb McDonald1
1The University Of Sydney, , Australia

The digital age has transformed the way the media report on crime with visual instantaneous stories published and shared across multiple platforms. While this may enhance public engagement, there can be consequences that affect victims and their families. This paper presents initial findings from a study that examines media reporting of homicide victims in the digital age. The research aims to understand contemporary journalistic practices, the way people bereaved through homicide manage and negotiate media attention, and the services that are available to assist them. Interviews have so far been conducted with crime journalists, people bereaved through homicide and support workers. This presentation will outline some of the emerging themes from this empirical data such as the media imperatives of a demanding and rapidly changing landscape, and the way families and their support workers try to control the way a loved one is represented and remembered in the public sphere.


Laura Wajnryb McDonald is a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney. She has a Bachelor of Socio-Legal Studies with First Class Honours. She has worked primarily as a Research Officer for 5 years at the Justice Research Group at Western Sydney University on a number of ARC funded jury research projects and as a casual academic for 3 years convening and lecturing undergraduate Criminology courses at the University of New South Wales. Her research interests include victimology, crime and media, and cultural and visual criminology.



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