Busted Newspaper: Does Your Area Have One? (2024)

Busted Newspaper: Does Your Area Have One? (1)

Have you ever heard of the busted newspaper? If you haven’t, it’s worth learning about. You may even be active reader of it because of the important information it shares. So what is the busted newspaper?

The Busted Newspaper, also called Tri-Cities Busted, is a newspaper containing mugshots of criminals. Hence the term “busted”.

In many areas around the country, this is the result of the crime has getting so bad. It’s purpose is to bring awareness to the public about who’s who.

In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the paper, including the ten most important things about it.

Table of Contents

Awareness or Privacy?

When talking about the right to information, what’s always involved is the right to privacy. These two rights are actually like the yin and the yang, or like the two opposite sides of a single coin.

The right to information is something that people cherish because through this, we are able to gain knowledge about our society, enrich our wisdom, and make better decisions to improve our lives.

The right to privacy is equally appreciated because without it, our personal lives, data, and information can easily be accessed without our permission. Worse, these can be used against us later on.

But our laws have helped balance these two out, especially their actual applications in real life scenarios. Zooming into government-related aspects, some may face issues on whether these rights are being upheld and respected through and through.

These issues are actually related to how people view the reality of ‘busted’ newspapers.

If you haven’t heard of busted newspapers yet, here are the ten main things you need to know about them.

10 Details You Need To Know

1) Busted People

If you think that newspapers and tabloids are for news and current events only, think again. Busted newspapers do exist and they got their name because of their content.

Busted newspapers publish and display booking photos, mugshots, and arrest information of people who were actually arrested by law enforcement bodies. The mugshots of the criminals are posted on the pages of the newspaper column by column, like a parade of hundreds of faces.

2) The Mugshot Publishing Industry

The production of the newspapers is under the industry of mugshot publishing. Now this industry is covered by the niche of tabloid journalism in the US.

The publishing enterprises of this type of tabloid newspaper regularly print out and publish mugshots and arrest data of people who were caught and arrested.

3) Other Crime-Related Stories

It would be kind of a bore if busted newspapers would only contain rows and rows of mugshots. That is why their publishing companies also insert some stories, news, and relevant information about crimes.

These stories add flavor to the newspaper, making it not just a straight-up mugshot matrix but more of a magazine-like crime publication.

4) Location Matters

Different counties, towns, cities, and multi-jurisdictions have their own busted newspapers. This is because criminals arrested in one location are often unique to that location (unless we’re talking about a criminal who has a record in many areas, and in this case, he/she could have his/her mugshots published on various busted newspapers).

Nonetheless, busted newspapers are generally unique to each locale because they have varying content. The mugshots, which are public records, are based on the location of the criminal incident. Also, like any other newspapers, busted newspapers have different names.

5) Main Objectives

There are two main goals or objectives in publishing busted newspapers. First, the publishing companies believe that through this paper, they are contributing to diminishing the incidence of local crimes.

Why? It is because the exposure of information is very critical to criminals and individuals. Therefore, they would think twice as much if they would push through with their plans at all.

Second, these newspapers provide relevant information and raise awareness among the citizens about the criminals, specifically in their locale.

6) They Are Available On Print And Online

Nowadays, busted newspapers are also found online through search websites and online versions of the actual paper. If you prefer the print version, you can buy the tabloids at convenience stores for a just a few dollars. Some are published every month, twice a month, or every quarter.

If you prefer to read it online, you can do so by accessing the official website of the corresponding busted newspaper outlet in your city or town.

7) Some Examples

“Busted Paper” has been on sale since 2009 in Twin Cities. It was featured on the Twin Cities Daily Planet website on April 2013. The article written by Stephanie Fox stated that 17 pages of booking photos from various counties were published in the Minnesota edition of the paper.

Search websites like BustedNewspaper.com and Mugshots.com are classic examples of online busted newspapers that publish mugshots online. These online sites make it more convenient and easy for citizens to access these relevant information anytime and anywhere.

8) Yes, It Is Legal

You must be wondering whether publishing such arrest information in busted newspapers is legal or not. The answer is yes, it is legal.

Mugshots and related arrest data are considered public documents or records. They are significant to the operations of law enforcement bodies and can be accessed by people after due process.

This is where the right to information is very much applied. Citizens are empowered by the right to know and obtain access to public information, which include crime-related data like mugshots. This policy promotes awareness about the society we live in.

9) The Bad

There are three major issues surrounding busted newspapers. (1) It is known that the publishing companies impose fees and hence, earn from removing arrest information on their newspapers and websites. This fact has been raising disputes since it is quite unfair, especially for those without the means to pay.

(2) Since criminals are still private individuals, some people say that this type of newspaper somehow violates the right to privacy of these individuals. Their mugshots are like immortal criminal portraits that expose their identity to massive readers.

(3) Lastly, the people behind those published mugshots are being subjected or are more prone to discrimination. Seeing mugshots is quite a sight to remember and the people who see them become more inclined to easily judging the owners of those arrest information.

10) The Good

Meanwhile, there are three good things about busted newspapers. First, they have a strong potential to lessen the number of crimes in a certain locale. The fear of exposure and shame are effective in discouraging criminals.

Second, busted newspapers promote the right to information. Finally, it enables for an easy and convenient access to relevant crime-related data online and on print.


I hope this article on busted newspapers helped you understand what they are and encourages you to check out if your area has one.

As we all know and as we keep saying it here, the world has gotten out of control. It’s amazing the lights come on everyday. It’s important to learn self-defense techniques as well as getting the right information about what’s around you for the safety of yourself and your family.

Further Reading:

Busted Newspaper: Does Your Area Have One? (2024)


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