Longform sports news and commentary website SB Nation, one of the websites under the Vox Media banner, has developed a reputation as being a location for well written and thoughtful commentary on not just sports, but society as well. Which is why it was surprising when they wound up publishing a disastrous longform article about former cop and convicted rapist Daniel Holtzclaw that wound up being little more than a racially charged hagiography. [more inside]
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]
"If his name was John Brown, he would have been in jail," one criminal justice official with knowledge of the case said. "If a woman says, 'He's the guy that raped me,' and you have corroborating evidence to show they were together and she went to the hospital and she can identify him, that guy goes to jail."Last week, ProPublica and the New Orleans Advocate published the results of their months-long joint investigation outlining how law enforcement officers in five states repeatedly (and sometimes deliberately) failed to apprehend former NFL star Darren Sharper as he traveled cross-country drugging and raping women: Upon Further Review.
[cw: rape, sexual assault, violent misogyny, law enforcement collusion to cover up same] [more inside]
Rolling Stone has published an exhaustive Columbia School of Journalism study on their flawed reporting of an accusation of gang-rape at a University of Virginia fraternity (previously), with recommendations both for Rolling Stone and for media outlets globally about how to report on rape more responsibly in the future.
Patrick Henry College has been called "God's Harvard." The tiny, elite school is considered a safe haven for fundamentalist evangelical Christians. It teaches a dominionist "Biblical Worldview" and has a uniquely religious campus culture (pdf) that emphasizes evangelical moral values. Which leaves female students in a particular bind: How do you report sexual assault at a place where authorities seem skeptical that such a thing even exists?
In October, 18-year old high school senior Ryan Romo was arrested for the sexual assault of a child (someone 16 or under, by TX state law). On October 31, CultureMap Dallas's managing editor, Claire St. Amant published an article asking, "Is this Highland Park baseball star a rapist?" St. Amant ended her article, stating: If it's a case of impulsive teenage decisions, remorse and guilt, then no one suffers more than 18-year-old Ryan Romo. [more inside]
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)
"For journalists, it's a little hard for them to be the story." A discussion on Radio Times of sexual violence against journalists (previously) and breaking the silence. With Lauren Wolfe, author of a special report on sexual violence against journalists by the Committee to Protect Journalists; Kim Barker, who corresponded from Afghanistan, Pakistan and India; and Elana Newman, research director at the Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma. [more inside]
After the horrific gang-rape of a child in a small town in east Texas has gained national attention, serious criticisms have been made of how the story has been reported. [more inside]
Diagnosis or job description? UK tabloids sometimes lead people to believe that all journalists are the scum of the earth. That's obviously not true, but one journalist who actually fits the bill seems to be ex-Woman's Wear Daily staffer, Peter Braunstein. On halloween, he dressed up as a fireman, called around at the apartment of a friend of his ex-wife and repeatedly drugged and raped her. Normally, this would just be another tawdry true crime, but like most writers, he's ended up leaving his mark all over the net.