Sexual harassment is at the top of the news agenda, and every industry - from politics to arts and entertainment to journalism - is being called to account. Like so many of their counterparts in other fields, women journalists contend with unwanted presumptions and the threat of gender-based violence. The Dart Center asked nine leading women in journalism to share their experiences and to reflect on their own best practices.
Resources for Featured Articles, Sexual Violence
This intensely personal documentary tells the story of a violent crime committed against reporter Samantha Broun’s mother, its far-reaching impact on her family and decades of reverberations on politics and the criminal justice system. Judges described “A Life Sentence” as a “deeply honest,” “brave” and personal story “elevated to great journalism.” Originally published by Transom.org in March, 2016.
This exhaustive and meticulously reported year-long inquiry into BYU’s practice of investigating students who report sexual assaults for possible violations of the school’s Honor Code led to sweeping policy changes at BYU, and prompted wider soul-searching on rape culture in Utah. Judges called The Salt Lake Tribune’s coverage “a rare combination of journalistic rigor, aggressive reporting and compassion.” Originally published by The Salt Lake Tribune between April - October, 2016.
Journalists Alex Renton, Katharine Quarmby and Olly Lambert spoke with the Dart Center about the challenges of reporting on child abuse, and trauma experts Sarah Heke and Shelagh Beckett shared tactics for interviewing victims of childhood trauma.
Clemantine Wamariya, who at age six fled the Rwandan genocide with her sister, spent seven years wandering central Africa as a refugee, eventually coming to the United States and succeeding by every conventional marker. Judges called the piece “clear-eyed,” “tremendously insightful,” and “gracefully and honestly told.” Originally published by Matter in June, 2015.
This comprehensive, interactive multimedia series in Spanish and English tells the stories of those in and around Iguala, Mexico, who had lost family members to kidnappings and killings, living in a purgatory of silence for years, and their quest for answers and justice. Judges described “The Other Disappeared” as a “tour de force,” reported with “incredible depth, rigor and compassion." Originally published by The Associated Press between September - December, 2015.
The feature film "Spotlight" is based on the stories and reporters behind The Boston Globe's investigation of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. In advance of the Academy Awards this weekend, we revisit an interview with the Globe's Spotlight team about approaching and speaking with survivors of abuse, maintaining privacy during a national investigation and taking care of themselves during a difficult story.
For the past two years, Australia's Royal Commission has been investigating how institutions like schools, churches, sports clubs and government organisations have responded to allegations and instances of child sexual abuse. Dart Centre Asia Pacific Board Chair Matthew Ricketson reflects on a public hearing he attended in Melbourne to support a friend who had been abused by a school chaplain.
Among the many risks journalists face, they are often targets of harassment and aggression. While harassment is a concern for all journalists, female journalists in particular are more likely to be targets [Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), 2011]. Despite increasing awareness of the issue, little is known about journalist-specific risk factors and consequences. Most recently updated in December 2017, this fact sheet summarizes key information about harassment of journalists. (Note: The topic of online harassment is not included in this review).
A growing number of communities across the country are wrestling with how to deal with rape kit backlogs. In this in-depth report, Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter and 2008 Dart Award Winner Rachel Dissell answers common questions about rape kit testing, and provides useful links, resources and questions that reporters can pose to authorities following the reopening of thousands of sexual assault cases nationwide. Click here for quick tips, and click here for the Plain Dealer's Reinvestigating Rape project, reported by Dissell and her colleague Leila Atassi.