It’s been called an epidemic, and it’s been addressed by everyone from President Barack Obama to scientists at MIT. More and more, sexual assault on college campuses throughout the country is coming to the forefront of what can and should be covered — ranging from some universities who have had questionable responses to allegations to ones that are leading the charge to stop it from happening.
In a compelling College Media keynote, survivors, advocates and those who cover them came together to offer practical tops and suggestions for how to deal with the still-emerging problem. As in just about every story written for a college publications, there are ethical issues involved. Everyone knows everyone, especially on a smaller campus.
I was most intrigued by George Joseph, a Columbia University student journalist who has walked the careful line between advocacy and reporting. Having to dial back his involvement in No Red Tape, an advocacy group founded in protest of the way sexual assaults were handled at Columbia University, was difficult for George. Ethically, though, it was important and necessary to preserve as much objectivity as possible.
Like Colin, I’m still digesting my thoughts on the panel, but I’m sure glad I went.
– By Michael Bodley