Bad Journalism

February 7, 2017

“Man Accused of Sexual Abuse of Girlfriend’s Daughter in Parkersburg” – a story that got a reporter fired… Here’s why.

P.1 & 2: Starts with lead which is the accusation of a male sexually abusing his girlfriend’s daughter and it taking place in Parkersburg. States that he will be charged with a class C felony.

P. 3: Identifies clearly the name of the mother of the victim (here’s where the reporter went WRONG) then goes into graphic detail about how the sexual abuse took place between the man and the underage girl.

Stating the name of the mother of the victim makes it that much easier to identify the actual victim, being that it is the daughter. Stating the name may be concerning to the public because it may act as a gateway to the victim being bullied. With such graphic detail, it can also be haunting for the victim to see the intimate details of her sexual abuse to be displayed for the public eye.

Reporting on fragile situations like sexual abuse leads to critical analysis by both newspaper editors and the public. Thus, the reporter must stay sensitive towards the victim and surrounding family in such way that accurately yet respectively reports the situation/crime. It should always be the victims choice to share their story and the reason to leave out identifying information is to protect the victims from re-traumatization or allegations made by the public.

“When in doubt, leave it out.”


Rolling Stone’s A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA by Sabrina Rubin Erdely; a false and now discredited report.

What originally was thought to be a truthful recount shedding light on rape was actually a huge lie thought up then told by Jackie, a young college girl. The story Rolling Stone reported was completey false in factual evidence; these claims that Jackie made were containing no truth whatsoever. From falsely claiming there was a Frat party on a specific date to falsely claiming the University of Virgina (UVA) administration shamed her for reporting a rape.

So, because of that story, Rolling Stone faces a defamation lawsuit filed by UVA for accusing them of not taking rape cases seriously on their campus.



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