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11Alive News: Mugshot and Suspect Names Policy

Our guidelines for using mugshots and the names of people accused of crimes on-air or online.
Credit: 11Alive

ATLANTA — As your trusted local news outlet, 11Alive takes the public's trust in our work very seriously. That's why we want to be transparent about our guidelines for sharing mugshots and the name(s) of people being accused of a crime on-air or online.

Just because 11Alive has obtained a mugshot or suspect name(s), does not mean we are going to air it online or in our newscasts. 

Our news management team uses these guidelines before making a decision on whether or not to move forward with:

  • Is there an immediate public safety threat? Is there a suspect on the run likely to endanger others? If YES, we will publish a mugshot and suspect name(s).
  • Is the case involving the mugshot in question closed? Are we talking about someone's prior conviction that was adjudicated? If YES, we will publish a mugshot and suspect name(s).
  • Is the person in the mugshot a public figure or elected official? Does their arrest directly impact the ability to provide a vital public service? If YES, we will publish a mugshot and suspect name(s).
  • Are we likely to follow this case through the justice system? If YES, we will publish a mugshot and suspect name(s). We also determine as a news management team which cases we will follow through the justice system. 

If, when using this checklist, we cannot answer YES to the above guidelines, we will not share the mugshot or suspect name(s) on-air or online. 

These guidelines are subject to change. If you have questions about our mugshot policy, reach out to us here.