Why is sensitive and constructive media reporting on criminal justice important?
The criminal justice system operates largely behind closed doors, and research by the Ministry of Justice and the Sentencing Council has shown that the public lacks understanding of crime and sentencing. The media has a powerful influence in society; it can play a key role in both educating the public about criminal justice and holding policy makers to account. On the other hand, the media can contribute to myths and misperceptions about criminal justice.
Every year, we hold the CJA Media Awards to celebrate journalists, podcasters, bloggers and filmmakers who are challenging perceptions and improving public understanding of criminal justice. Previous winners have included journalists and producers from the London Evening Standard, Channel 4, Just Radio for BBC Radio 4 and the Sunday Times, focused on issues such as knife crime, racial inequality in the criminal justice system, restorative justice and the use of imprisonment for women.