Law and Human Behavior

, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 507–525 | Cite as

The impact of pretrial publicity on jurors

A study to compare the relative effects of television and print media in a child sex abuse case
  • James R. P. Ogloff
  • Neil Vidmar
Articles

Abstract

Previous research on how jurors are prejudiced by pretrial publicity (PTP) has focused on the impact of print media (i.e., newspapers). However, in this “television age”, we are exposed to compelling and vivid images of crimes and cases. This raises the question of whether potential jurors may be more influenced by television media (e.g., news programs or televised hearings) then print media (e.g., newspaper and magazine articles). Using an actual case involving extensive PTP, the present study varied the type of medium (print articles, video, articles+video) presented to potential jurors. The results indicated that exposure to the various media had a prejudicial impact on people, and that they were unaware of their biases. As hypothesized, television exposure and television plus print articles biased potential jurors significantly more than exposure to print media alone.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • James R. P. Ogloff
    • 1
  • Neil Vidmar
    • 2
  1. 1.the Department of PsychologySimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada
  2. 2.Duke Law SchoolDurham

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