The Media’s Responsibility in Covering Underground Cases

Parental Kidnaping Underground cases like the Marvin Maple, Holly Ann Collins and Faye Yager Children of the Underground ones are very complex since they involve children’s right to privacy and a victim’s right  privacy, usually the left behind or searching parent. In addition, some of thes cases involve allegations of domestic violence or abuse against the child as part of the the “necessity defense” — the abucting parent fled to protect the child becaue of their belief that our legal system and child protection system didn’t work for  them.

In these cases, the abducting or arrested parent on trial will make allegations before they kidnapped the child(ren) and sometimes these allegations will be enlarged or expanded, especially during a criminal court proceedings as the kidnapper faces a possible prison term and felony record. So for the reporter or author covering these cases, it becomes their responsiblity to cover these stories with the integrity and sensitivity to the rights of the victims. Especially in these cases where you have allegations of family violence, child sexual abuse and even satanic ritual abuse. There  are allegations made by credible sources and those that made by not so credible sources. So here’s an attempt to help the media in these decisions:

Credible Sources

  • District Attorney
  • Child Protective Services Worker
  • Child Psychiatrist
  • Physician
  • Child Psychologist
  • Psychologist
  • Police Officer
  • Social Worker with no affiliation to a Special Interest Group such as a Domestic Violence Shelter or Children’s Rights Group.

Not Credible Sources

  • Family Violence worker
  • Domestic Violence Worker
  • Protective Parent Worker
  • CPS Report filed by a Domestic Violence Worker due to their interaction with the parental kidnapper based on mandatory reporting laws.
  • CPS Report filed by Parental Kidnapper’s Psychologist due to disclosures made during therapy based on mandatory reporting laws.
  • Faye Yager or any Other Self-Appointed Child Protectionist.
  • A Domestic Violence Court Document prepared by the Domestic Violence worker or the Parental Kidnapper
  • A Family Law Court Document written by the Parental Kidnapper’s Attorney or the Parental Kidnapper
  • The Parental Kidnapper’s Attorney
  • The Parental Kidnapper’s Friends
  • The Parental Kidnapper’s Family Members
  • The Parental Kidnapper

In covering these stories, it is important to remember that these are parental kidnapping for famly abduction cases or criminal trials. Furthermore, when the media prints that the parent was “‘accused of” , then that allegation should only apply to those from legimate sources. They should also be very careful when using such terms as “child molestation”, “incest”, “child sexual abuse” and “satanic ritual abuse” in their stories, especially in the headlines. These words, especially if used by the Parental Kidnapper and the other not necessarily credible sources are inflamatory and incentive to the rights of the victims and children in these cases. Finally, we have laws that protect the identity of rape victims and juvenilles but in these types of cases, there are no such laws so it’s the resposibilty of each journalist or book author and his or her integrity and sensitivty. So my advice to these journalists: what if it were you or your child or grandchild — would your coverage of the story change? Is your story based on what’s already been reported (although it may have been reported inaccurately)? Are you reporting the news or contributing to it?


2 Responses to The Media’s Responsibility in Covering Underground Cases

  1. Just a Mom says:

    Curious as to why you say here that the parental kidnappers family is not to be trusted. But you trot out thoise family members who do turn on the alleged kidnapper? That makes absolultely no sense to me. That is in essence saying – you can’t trust this family member ever. Oh wait a minute! They are bashing the alleged kidnapper so now we can trust them?

    • forthelost says:

      I don’t see “friends of the kidnapper who turned on them” in the “credible sources” list. And in this case, the abuse allegations only came after the arrest. Even Faye Yager said Todd wasn’t abusive.

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