I damn near have to look away every time I see something in the news on Sandusky. The level of depravity, particularly by those who protected the guy, defies comprehension.
Former FBI Chief Louis Freeh released a report this week condemning Penn State’s handling of the abuse. Poynter’s ethicist Kelly McBride urges journalists to pay particular attention to how they cover the report. Among the advice she offers: Provide counseling resources both in and outside the newsroom — victims of abuse in which adults looked the other way will come forward. And talk about child abuse in specific, graphic terms while also explaining the need for graphic discussion.
One of the longstanding failings of the press, McBride notes, is a tendency to protect audiences from the horror of child rape by using vague or misleading language (using “fondle” or “molest” when “anal rape” is more precise), which does no one any good.