Skip to main content
Victims of Crime
Print page
  • Small Text
  • Medium Text
  • Large Text

Dealing with the media

Crime is often considered newsworthy and as a victim, you may be contacted.

While some victims are pleased to speak to the media, others consider media interest an intrusion.

When considering media involvement, you should remember that:

  • the media sometimes play an active role in solving crimes
  • the police can advise you whether they think an interview is appropriate
  • you have the right to choose between granting an interview to one favoured journalist or outlet  (an ‘exclusive’), or to hold a general press conference.

You have the right to refuse to speak with the media.

Legal implications

Any comments you make to the media could have an impact on forthcoming legal proceedings, especially if a suspect has been arrested and a court case is pending. Once a suspect has been charged, it is suggested that you speak with someone from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, police or Victim Support Service before saying anything in the media.

After the incident

The media may approach you immediately after the incident for comment. It is best to avoid making any comment unless asked to do so by the police to assist in their investigation.

In some cases, reporters may come to your home to seek comment or to obtain pictures of the deceased. If you do not want to speak with them, politely decline their requests. If you do not feel strong enough to deal with them personally but would still like to make a statement, have a family member or trusted friend speak to them on your behalf.

During a trial

The media may be present at the trial of the accused. They may want to film the victim and their family entering and leaving the court. Generally, the media can film/photograph/interview people involved in court cases on public land around courthouses without hindrance.

You are under no obligation to speak to the media nor should they make it difficult for you to move from the court to your transport. You may choose to arrange to be picked up from the front of the court in order to avoid being followed by the media.

Sentencing

Again, you are under no obligation to speak to the media, however it is an opportunity to express your feelings. If you decide to comment, it is advisable to prepare a statement in writing before you speak to the media. If you do not wish to speak directly to the media yourself, you can appoint a spokesperson to read your statement.

Prior to talking to the media, it is important you consult with the police or the prosecutor so as not to jeopardise legal proceedings.

Last updated: 18-Feb-2013

[ back to top ]

Home | Privacy | Copyright & Disclaimer | Glossary
All contents copyright Government of Western Australia. All rights reserved.