Murder in the News: An Inside Look at How Television Covers Crime

Murder in the News: An Inside Look at How Television Covers Crime

by Robert H. Jordan Jr.


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A veteran, Emmy Award-winning TV news anchor provides a unique insider glimpse into the newsroom revealing how murder cases are selected for TV coverage.

Television news anchor Robert Jordan Jr. draws from forty-seven years of news experiences to provide an eye-opening look at how news programs decide which murders to cover and which ones to ignore. Jordan takes readers behind the scenes into the big city newsrooms of Chicago. Here split-second decisions are made on where to send limited resources when dozens of shootings and several murders are occurring on a daily basis.

Using interviews from decision makers—such as assignment editors and producers—who work daily in the trenches of working newsrooms, the reader learns how they decide where to send reporters; when to dispatch live trucks; and how the stories will be treated as they are placed in the news programming. Why will one story get "breaking news" banners and be placed at the top of the broadcast while others may not make the air at all or may be given casual mention in later segments?

Additionally, Jordan reveals the results of a ground-breaking questionnaire sent to producers and assignment editors at Chicago television stations to assess their rationales for covering murder stories the way they do. 

Finally, he examines how the explosion of social media platforms has changed the dynamic of reporting the news and why murders are the perfect stories for television, as news organizations struggle to survive.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781633883277
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Publication date: 11/14/2017
Pages: 253
Sales rank: 846,402
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Robert H. Jordan Jr. is an Emmy Award-winning weekend anchor for WGN-TV's News at Five & Nine in Chicago. He also produces, writes, and reports stories for the weekday and weekend news as a reporter. In addition, his stories have aired on CNN and many Tribune stations across the country. During a journalism career spanning over forty years, Jordan has seen and reported on all types of murder cases—domestic squabbles to mass murderers—serial killers to gangland hits, revenge killings to street-gang turf wars. Besides his long career with WGN-TV, Jordan has covered stories for the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite and also written articles for the Chicago Tribune, including an award-winning article on surviving prostate cancer. He is the founder and owner of a video production company, Video Family Biographies. He holds a PhD in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies from Loyola University in Chicago.

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Excerpted from "Murder in the News"
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Copyright © 2017 Robert H. Jordan.
Excerpted by permission of Prometheus Books.
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Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Preface 9

Acknowledgments 15

Introduction 19

Chapter 1 Second-Rate Murders… Really? 25

Chapter 2 Murder Coverage as a Reflection of Society 53

Chapter 3 The History of the Changing Broadcast Format 79

Chapter 4 Survey-Deciding Which Murder Stories to Cover 107

Chapter 5 Good Guys vs. Bad Guys 127

Chapter 6 Bad Guys vs. Bad Guys 141

Chapter 7 The Phantom Audience in Us All 157

Chapter 8 Perspective and Truth 175

Chapter 9 Realigning the Process for Covering Murders 189

Notes 211

Index 231

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