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Most stories about sex trafficking represent breaking news–in fact, our research of US print and broadcast news coverage of trafficking from 2008 to 2012 showed that trafficking was framed overwhelmingly as crime for each of those years, to the neglect of other frames: public health and human rights, for example. And those crime stories tended to be conveyed as isolated events, rather than as part of a larger social context. Research tells us that, although the reporting of gender-based violence is important, episodic coverage that reports a raid conducted, an arrest made, and so on, does little to aid public understanding of the causes and consequences of, or solutions to, trafficking. What’s worse, acontextual coverage encourages victim blaming.

In this section of the website, you’ll find a range of perspectives on trafficking from individuals with deep knowledge of the issue. In blogs and interviews, these experts address current news and debates related to sex trafficking in local, national and global settings, identify challenges in covering the issue and recommend new ways of approaching this important journalistic work.

What do we know about trafficking, and how do we know it? What sources and data have been overlooked in reporting about trafficking, and how do we know if they’re reliable? What reporting approaches or angles might shed new light on this complex issue?

We’ll keep adding to this section, and we welcome a range of views. Please contact us if you’d like to contribute a blog or know someone we ought to interview.