Source: (2005) VOMA Connections no. 19 (Winter): 6, 10. Downloaded 3 May 2005.

Restorative justice initiatives such victim offender mediation (VOM) programs are currently enjoying increased national media attention. In the past year, several magazines and television and radio talk shows have devoted space to restorative justice programs. The journalist Jan Goodwin, for example, has published articles on victim offender mediation in the April 2004 issue of O Magazine and in the May 2004 issue of Marie Claire magazine. On television, coverage has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show in November 2004 and on The Larry King Show in January 2005. Online discussions have also been held, such as one on Oprah’s discussion board (oprah.com). For advocates of restorative justice, this national media attention is exciting. It not only raises public awareness about restorative justice, but it also opens doors for sources of much-needed funding for new and existing programs. However, this increased media attention requires more scrutiny of how VOM is presented because of the misconceptions that may be inadvertently promoted through the media spotlight. To illustrate the potentials and pitfalls of media involvement in VOM, this article looks at three recent VOM television and online presentations. These sources include The Oprah Winfrey Show entitled. “Coming Face to Face with Your Attackerâ€? from October 25, 2004 on the topic of restorative justice, the Oprah After the Show program that subsequently aired the question and answer session following the main program on a cable television channel, and the oprah.com discussion board in response to the television show. (excerpt)


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