Join us July 28 at noon for a panel conversation about the movement to minimize longterm harm in crime reporting and subjects’ right to be forgotten.
Newsrooms in Colorado and nationally are starting to adopt policies that minimize harm to criminal suspects and make it easier for them to move on with their lives after their time in the news has passed.
Earlier this month, the Associated Press announced it will no longer release suspects’ names or mug shots in stories about minor crimes in which it is unlikely the news agency “will provide coverage beyond the initial arrest.” The Denver Post and affiliated newspapers owned by Prairie Mountain Publishing, as well as outlets owned by Swift Communications recently have adopted similar policies.
The “right-to-be-forgotten” movement is driven largely by increasing requests from people wishing to erase negative media coverage that can permanently hinder their job- and housing prospects. It also comes as Americans increasingly embrace second chances as a civil right.
Critics argue that the public has a right to know who has been arrested and that removing their names or erasing stories from internet archives is a form of censorship that effectively rewrites history.
Given the major shifts right-to-be-forgotten efforts are making in our industry, and questions many outlets have about whether and how to implement these policies, the Colorado News Collaborative (COLab) is hosting a Zoom panel from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday July 28 for discussion. We’ll hear from Denver Post Editor Lee Ann Colacioppo and Aspen Times Editor David Krause, who both have adapted new policies in their newsrooms. We’ll also hear from news leaders who are skeptical about such efforts either for editorial or business reasons. And we’ll discuss the recently passed House Bill 21-1214 and whether other kinds of criminal records should – or should not – be hidden or removed from public access if they can harm the subject.
COLab is pleased to partner with the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition, the Colorado Press Association, Colorado Media Project and the Denver Press Club in promoting this important conversation. Please RSVP to participate July 28. We’re eager to hear what you have to say.