Victims of crime are sometimes disheartened, frustrated and angered by their dealings with the media while others gain strength from the experience, research has found.

The study by agency Colmar Brunton was commissioned by the NSW Department of Attorney General and Justice and surveyed 45 victims of crime, including some families of homicide victims.

It found the impact of media reporting was mixed with a number telling of bad experiences while others appreciated being given the chance for their voice to be heard.

Colmar Brunton managing director Corey Fisher said privacy issues were often the cause of friction between victims of crime and the media.

"Some victims felt the media had jeopardised their safety by publishing personal information about them, while others felt the publication of graphic images or details of the crime had caused them further trauma," he said.

Mr Fisher said victims responded most positively to journalists who displayed empathy and took time to build a trusting relationship.

Researchers also spoke to nine journalists who were experienced in crime reporting who expressed a common view that there was little to be gained from being aggressive and demanding towards victims as it would most likely cause them to clam up.

Most reporters said they were not just looking for an emotional grab and preferred victims to be relaxed and able to convey their feelings succinctly.

The study made a series of recommendations including training for the media about victims' trauma, increased recognition of respectful reporting through the development of crime reporting awards and improved resources to help victims of crime prepare for their encounters with the media.

The research was presented in Adelaide on Thursday at the National Victims of Crime Conference.


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