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Associated Press will no longer reveal identity of suspects in minor crime stories

The wire service suggested the publication of the names of those involved in minor crimes, without followup, could jeopardize future employment.

Updated: June 16, 2021 - 12:24pm

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The Associated Press says it will no longer publish the names or mugshots of people involved in minor crime stories.

The policy change is intended to "minimize harm on suspects’ who later gain employment or just move on in their lives," AP journalist Farnoush Amiri said Tuesday.

In a news release, the wire service also said the names of suspects are usually not newsworthy beyond local-level and minor cases are not continually covered through the outcome – typically just the arrest. 

The Associated Press also said it will no longer link to stories by other news outlets that reveal the name of a suspect or a mugshot. It will also stop publishing stories that are circulating due to an embarrassing mugshot or simply because of the appearance of the accused.

However, the wire service made clear it will continue to name people involved in significant crime cases such as murder, which entail ongoing news coverage and the search for fugitives.

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