In 2010, Plain Dealer reporter Rachel Dissell wrote about thousands of neglected rape kits at the Cleveland Police Department. Working with fellow reporter Leila Atassi, their continued, tenacious coverage led to the creation of a 'rape kit task force' to cover a massive backlog, and eventually, a law mandating timely testing. Since 2011, when the city began sending rape kits to the state’s crime lab, almost all of its 4,000 kits have been tested; of these, over 1,600 contained usable DNA. 350 cases have led to grand jury indictments, and as of this month, over 100 rapists have been convicted, some of multiple rapes. [more inside]
How can we get a less hyperbolic assessment of the state of the world? Certainly not from daily journalism. News is about things that happen, not things that don’t happen. We never see a reporter saying to the camera, “Here we are, live from a country where a war has not broken out”—or a city that has not been bombed, or a school that has not been shot up. As long as violence has not vanished from the world, there will always be enough incidents to fill the evening news. And since the human mind estimates probability by the ease with which it can recall examples, newsreaders will always perceive that they live in dangerous times.
In July 2007, NPR published a two part series (direct links: 1, 2) about a four year old uninvestigated rape case at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Sparked in part by a 2006 report (pdf) from Amnesty International that included a startling statistic: "One in three Native American women will be raped in her lifetime," NPR's investigation led to the reopening of the case and Congressional hearings. In February 2011, Harper's published an update of sorts: Tiny Little Laws: A Plague of Sexual Violence in Indian Country (Via)
Every World Press Photo Award Winner From 1955-2011. Many photos not safe for work and/or not safe for life, due to images of violence.
Saved from a lynching: Enrico Dangino, friend of Vigilante Journalist photographs a man seized by a mob and about to be set ablaze, then, with the help of his compatriot, frees him. More photographs and blogging from the ground in Kenya's current political crisis from Vigilante Journalist. via.
Internet bypasses censorship of school paper, when students prevented from publishing multi-article feature on school violence [ChiTrib: free reg] put it online at Geocities. Was the issue too provocative for a school paper that must answer to parents? Is the internet "safety valve" a realistic solution for these all-too-common disputes?
Reporter Road Rage Fox News Channel anchor ran over another reporter with his car at the Florida State Capitol. Anything to cover the "Battle for the White House"...