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Incest News Coverage: Policies, Practices and Attitudes of Oklahoma Newspaper Editors

Bugeja, Diane Faye
A questionnaire was designed to explore newspaper editor's attitudes, practices and policies about incest crime reporting. The impetus for this work was sparked after reading an incest crime report in a newspaper. The court log identified the suspect in an incest case by name. It became apparent that even though the newspaper withheld the victim's name, the victim and/or other family siblings could be implicated by association since incest is a family crime. This study is the first of its kind because it directly asks editors their opinions about incest crime coverage and measures editor attitudes toward the victim, the suspect and the crime. The study included small circulation newspapers--an infrequently studied group in attitude research--along with large circulation newspapers.