CRC receives regular requests from media outlets to facilitate access to clients of the CRC programs. Participating in media is a complex process for people who have histories of criminal justice system involvement, particularly those who are in the process of trying to turn their lives around (the vast majority of people CRC works with). The impact of publicity, particularly publicity that is poorly conceived, lacking in nuance, inaccurate, or sensationally produced is frequently devastating for people on release and their families. Unfortunately, the majority of requests we receive fall into this category. CRC won’t consider any media requests which serve to perpetuate stereotypes or myths about imprisonment in NSW. This includes requests for high profile offenders, requests for people who have committed particular categories of crime, and requests where the story is clearly already written and producers or journalists are simply looking for people to populate their stories.
Insensitive or sensationalist reporting can (and does in our experience) result in people losing their jobs, losing their houses, being returned to prison, having family relationships severely damaged, and having life inside prison become extremely difficult.
However, CRC also recognises that the media is a powerful tool for disseminating information, educating, and uncovering important stories for populations who frequently do not have a public voice.
CRC will consider passing on media requests when:
- The proposed story intends to illuminate rather than sensationalise
- The option of de-identification is present for clients who choose to participate
- Participants have genuine options to withdraw if they decide at any point their participation will have a detrimental impact on their lives
- In any cases where the client is not de-identified, clients and staff of the CRC have the option to view footage, or read material before it is made public, and are able to have feedback accommodated prior to it becoming public.
For all media requests please contact Program Director, Mindy Sotiri directly on 0401 940 340.