Letter to the editor: Using ‘alleged’ in reference to rape victims places doubt on stories reported
Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 01:03
Letter to the editor
In regards to “OSU football players named in rape case” (3/19/13):
As a former journalism student, I can appreciate the care with which reporters from The Lantern must take when covering such sensitive issues as sexual assault. But as a former rape crisis counselor and victims’ advocate, I struggled to read Tuesday’s story on OSU football players accused of sexual assault. I understand that the story is still unfolding, and that journalists are not the judge or jury — and that words such as “alleged” must be used to caution against defamation. However, it was disappointing to see The Lantern refer to the woman as an “alleged victim” of “alleged rape” that “allegedly occurred” while not referring to her perpetrators in the same light. Instead of being “alleged attackers” or “alleged perpetrators” or “alleged” anything, they were referred to as Players: Player 1, Player 2, Player 3. Unfortunately, using the word “alleged” in conjunction with the victim and her report only further casts doubt on her story, while we hold the men to a different standard, allowing them to remain Players, not alleged perpetrators. Is it because they are football players? Have we learned nothing from Steubenville?
First-year Ph.D student in sports management