FOCUS Discussion: Crime and the media


SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The relationship between crime and the media can be complex and complicated. Some stories grab the audience’s attention a little and then fade away. Some stay in the news cycle for a long time and others don’t even get any coverage. Since the Gabby Petito case quickly grew and remained in national headlines, our 7pm team would like to pull the curtain back and discuss some of the factors that go into this process.

Marcos Ortiz, ABC4 Senior Crime and Punishment Correspondent, joined Rosie Nguyen for an IN FOCUS discussion. He explained what made the Gabby Petito case so reportable, how the Petito case compares to the Chad and Lori Daybell case, whether he is ever surprised by the stories that are or are not the subject of a media coverage, her thoughts on missing white woman syndrome. , how social media plays a role in these cases and how these types of cases highlight other issues like domestic violence.

Chris Burbank, vice president of law enforcement strategy for the Center for Policing Equity, explained how the police generally perceive his relationship with the media, when media coverage can help and hinder investigations, why he thinks that the Gabby Petito case has been in the news for so long, if there are any cases he wants more media coverage, his thoughts on missing white woman syndrome, the role of social media in those cases and what he would like to see changed with the media coverage of the crime.

Brandon Merrill, executive director of Utah Homicide Survivors, spoke about the delicate line victims’ family members should follow when it comes to media interviews, his thoughts on the Gabby Petito case, the how these types of cases highlight other issues such as domestic affairs. violence, his thoughts on missing white woman syndrome and what he would like to see changed with the media coverage of the crime.

To watch the full IN FOCUS discussion with Ortiz, Burbank and Merrill, click on the video at the top of the article.

Watch IN FOCUS chats with ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen weeknights on CW30 News at 7 p.m..

Rosie Nguyen is an award-winning reporter who joined the ABC4 News team as a reporter in January 2018. In September 2020, she embarked on a new journey as a presenter of CW30 News at 7pm. Although no longer in the field, she pursues her passion for social justice and community issues through the nightly “In Focus” discussions.

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