In an effort to help you better understand how and why we cover certain crimes, KPRC 2 built the following guide to help provide more insight into our coverage decisions.
While we have clear standards for certain crimes, not all of them have a one-size-fits-all model. We want you to know that often the details of the story and crime dictate how we might approach covering an incident, so our approach may not always be the same in each case. For each story, our reporters, producers, videographers and news managers are carefully considering these standards, the intricacies of each incident and considering the impact that publishing a story may have on all parties involved. If you have any questions about what is described below or anything you would like to see added to this guide please contact our news director. We also welcome your feedback on the standards described below as we are always trying to be sensitive to the impact crime coverage can have on our community, individuals and their families.
Police chases: On television and through our online live stream, we have the ability to add a 5-10 second delay during police chases. This is done so producers can catch anything violent or inappropriate before our audience might see it. Also, this helps our producers make a decision about whether to broadcast this sort of material.
Showing violence: When there is active violence, we may freeze the video before the violence actually happens. We will freeze the video before the act of violence takes place as a way to show our audience the scene of the crime but then stop it so our audience does not actually see the incident.
Original video: We keep video in its original form. This is important because changing the original video can change the meaning of the story. If we were to ever alter video we would disclose it.
Graphic video: We often put a disclaimer on video published on-air and online if there is graphic material involved. We typically will note that you are about to see something that may be disturbing on-air. Online we will have a link to see the video if someone chooses to.
Minors: There is no law preventing media from reporting the names of juveniles, but KPRC 2 makes every effort to protect anyone under 18 years old. There are exceptions to this rule depending on the circumstances such as a heinous crimes or someone under 18 being tried as an adult.
Sexual assaults: We aim to protect the identity of sexual assault victims. In rare cases, a victim may request to show their identity and we handle those situations in a case-by-case situation.
Suicides: Typically we don't report on suicides. There can be times when a suicide may be a newsworthy event. That's usually the case if it's a public figure. When we report on suicides, we may provide links to resources where people can get help if they are suffering from depression.
Surveillance video: We receive surveillance video from law enforcement and the public. We verify the authenticity prior to publication.
Redacted documents: Even though sensitive personal information can be included in public documents like personal addresses and credit card numbers, we make an editorial decision about what information should be published and what should be protected. In some cases, we will redact information we legally receive in order to protect the privacy of those involved.
Bomb and school threats and lockdowns: If a bomb threat or a lockdown results in a substantive law enforcement response, it will be reported.