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Media Analysis Project

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Jasmine Sola

on 23 October 2013

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Transcript of Media Analysis Project

"Melinda Coleman says she
doesn't know why the prosecutor dropped charges
against the boys who allegedly sexually assaulted her daughter" -ABC News
"... the Coleman family had refused to cooperate with the investigation. The
family denies that
." -LA Times
did not refuse to testify
with the felony case, we
were not given any information
about it, and we were not asked to testify," -LA Times
The victim's mother
Victim can share her story
The media is a "Watchdog" for the public

Everyone knows that if you cheat, you’re out. If you steal, you’re out. If you lie, you’re out.
If you rape, you graduate.”
- Dateline NBC

Rape culture: Society validates and perpetuates sexual violence
Narratives direct focus to the victim
Self-Advocate for Sexual Assault"
"Robert Fitzsimmons, who represents the girl and her family, said the widespread media coverage of the case, while at times tough for his client, has '
generated tons of publicity of what happens to rape victims.
'" - Christina Corbin, Fox News Article
“They are speaking up against the apathy of the political elites and absence of efficient governance and media is articulating this anger.” - Guha Thaukrta, journalist and social commentator

Ethics in Covering Rape Cases
Pro-Exposure: Rape cases should be extensively covered
“I support the approach that gives victims the choice of being identified, though
I worry when that choice is presented to teenagers or to any victim whose considerable vulnerability may impede a reasoned decision that weighs all the consequences of the choice.”
- Bob Steele, journalism ethics expert

Anti- Exposure

An extensive look at the controversy surrounding the alleged rape of Daisy Coleman in Maryville, Mo.

1. Should rape victims be identified by name in the media?
Media should not do everything in their power to release information about rape victims.
“To name a rape victim is to guarantee that whenever somebody hears her name, that somebody will picture her in the act of being sexually tortured. To expose a rape victim to this without her consent is nothing short of punitive.” -
Helen Benedict, British journalist specializing in social injustice
How the victim's name was
reported in the Maryville case:
In The Kansas City Star
The victim's name (Daisy) is said a total of 32 times in The Kansas City Star's article "Nightmare in Maryville: Teens’ sexual encounter ignites a firestorm against family."

“Readers should expect to see stories that
hold institutions accountable
; aggressive ongoing coverage; a skeptical, investigative attitude that extends through every story and every section of the paper; attention to
what’s under the radar
.” – Butch Ward, Poynter Professor
Surrounding controversy
Dealing with prominence
"Missouri teen writes about allegedly being raped by
of politician and target in Maryville community"-Daily News headline
Report as fully as possible
“I urge them to find
more voices than “both sides
.””-Al Tompkins
of Rex Barnett, a powerful former Republican state representative"
Barnett's grandson
"Robert Sundell, an attorney who represented
Barnett's grandson
Barnett's grandson
is enrolled at the University of Central Missouri"
-USA Today
"...lenses and frames continuously
shape what citizens know, understand, and believe about the world
Nodaway County Prosecutor Robert L. Rice
Dropped the charge because the victim refused to cooperate
There was not much evidence
Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder & The sheriff Darren White
“horrible crime” for which the perpetrators needed to be “punished”"-White
"Responsible authorities must take another look"-Kinder
Another aspect to consider is the effect this exposure will have on the victim.
In this case, bullying was one of the main negative effects suffered by Daisy Coleman.
According to The Kansas City Star, a girl in Maryville came to a dance competition wearing a shirt saying: Matt 1, Daisy 0.

Two weeks after the incident, Daisy's mother was fired from her job.

The Coleman children transferred schools and ultimately the whole family moved out of Maryville.
Instead of talking to the DA to get the case re-tried, Daisy Coleman's mother went to the media, specifically The Kansas City Star.
Media has different incentives than institutions like the government.
“The Associated Press does not generally name victims of sexual assault but is naming Coleman because she and her mother have been granting public interviews about the case. The AP is not naming the boys because there is no longer an active criminal case against them.”
- The Associated Press in a Fox News Article
Is the media's first incentive to get justice for someone?

The media has monetary incentives and incentives to be the first to break the grittiest or most controversial story.
2. What are the media's incentives?
Nodaway County Prosecutor Robert L. Rice
Conflicting authorities
Apology from Oakland, Calif.'s KTVU News for misreporting names:
"As a minister of justice, I have to dismiss the charge when there's not the evidence there to pursue a criminal case and regardless of what social media or other outlets want to take with that."
""If your mother says she loves you,
check it out
." That's what's missing from new media." -Sam Singer
Kobe Bryant case
Also involved issue of prominence
-The Press Effect by Jamieson & Waldman

''Some people believe that celebrities are overpaid and coddled; they have this image of people who think they can get away with anything,''
-Joshua Gamson, an associate professor of sociology at the University of San Francisco and author of the book ''Claims to Fame: Celebrity in Contemporary America.''
Covering taboo topics
"A universal ban on
stories such as suicide, bomb threats and rape may
rob the public of important information
about issues going on their community." - Al Tompkins, Aim for the Heart
Delhi, India
Daring Coverage of Daisy
A project by:
Jasmine Sola, Jay Park, Kelsea Kierstead

Discussion Questions:
1. Even when given permission to pursue a story by the victim, should the media still extensively cover all aspects of the victim's life?

2. Do you feel like rape is an issue that deserves more coverage? Do you feel this is connected to rape's prevalence in society and its status as a usually controversial current event?

3. What are your views on rape victims doing self-exploiting stories such as Daisy's XoJane story?

4. How do you think prominent people can potentially affect journalism and reporting, especially in regards to bias?

5. Do you feel journalistic ethics should be different for rape cases compared to the reporting of other traumatic events?
Full transcript