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Justice group challenges crime reporting

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Media organisations are being asked to look at the way they report crime.

Safe and Effective Justice Independent Advisory Group chair Chester Borrows says in response to overwhelming feedback at regional hui about the damage that can be done by the way crime was reported, member Jarrod Gilbert suggested to media organisations they should review their practices.

He says the coverage tends to reinforce prejudice, and is especially damaging to Māori.

"What the risk is perpetuating a risk that young Māori males are all to be frightened of and they are responsible for all the crime. I know as a cop and later as a lawyer, just in discussions with people there is an assumption if you are talking about representing someone in court, there is an assumption that someone is Māori. It comes up in the conversation," Mr Borrows says.

The independent advisory group would like to see the media industry develop best practice standards for reporting crime, including limits on dramatic language and identifying features of race and ethnicity.





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