Pa. Newspaper Calls Out NY Times on Abuse Case

Editor says profile made victim's identity common knowledge
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2011 8:40 AM CST
Jerry Sandusky in a file photo.   (AP Photo/The Patriot-News, Andy Colwell, File)

(Newser) – Pennsylvania's Patriot-News has led the way on reporting of the Jerry Sandusky rape allegations at Penn State, and now the paper is publicly calling out the New York Times in its handling of the story. Editor David Newhouse writes that a recent profile of "Victim One" in the Times all but identifies the victim by name. It provides enough clues that a quick Google search would yield the name, and now it's common knowledge among news organizations, he writes.

"You could call the anonymity maintained in the story a polite fiction, but there is nothing polite about it," writes Newhouse. The story illustrates "the difference between truly protecting the identity of a victim and the fiction of protecting the identity of a victim." This kind of reporting could make future victims in other cases unwilling to come forward, he adds.

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