Viewpoint: Six Ways the Media is Still Blaming the Victim (War on Cars Watch)

When a driver hits a pedestrian or cyclist, a handful of media tropes shift blame to the victims and leave readers with the impression that nothing can be done about it.

A new analysis of 200 articles covering bike and pedestrian deaths in a two-month period last year reveals that the media “consistently” faults the dead rather than the survivor, who is often the only witness with whom cops speak.

“Through grammatical choices and by selectively including some bits of information but not others, local news coverage subtly, but consistently, blames vulnerable road users for crashes,” lead author Kelcie Ralph, an assistant professor at Rutgers, wrote in the summary paper, which was presented at the Transportation Research Board annual conference this week in Washington, D.C.