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Dateline’s Keith Morrison Admits He Struggles With The Ethics Of Reporting On True Crime

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With the advent of true crime TV shows, films, and podcasts, critics of the genre are quick to point out the inherent exploitation that takes the trauma of individuals and turns it into entertainment for viewers. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Keith Morrison revealed that he understands this perspective and even struggles with it. “I had to be somehow drawn into the murder business,” he said. “Somehow it just didn’t seem right. We took these intensely touching, deeply personal incidents in people’s lives and turned them into entertainment.”

Morrison told the outlet that he was concerned about the exploitative aspects of true crime. Recalling a time when he had to drive to a widow’s house shortly after her husband’s death, he recalled feeling “like the worst person in the world”. But what he found surprised him, for she invited him in, gave him food and drink, and chatted with him for a while. Morrison told the LA Times that it was at this point that he realized the show had the power to allow ordinary people to tell their stories.

Morrison also said that dealing with the issue every week could be exhausting, as could the trip. But in the end it’s all worth it. “[You] Get involved in the details,” he explained, “and you talk to the people involved and you hear what the real issues are behind these stories. It’s so interesting you can’t possibly stay away from it.”



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