Recently the Washington Post’s Melinda Henneberger decided to share the story of her rape. Mallary Jean Tenore at Poynter talked to Henneberger and reflected on what her experience should illustrate to newsrooms:
“One in six women will be sexually assaulted during her lifetime…. Based on those figures, someone in your newsroom has been sexually assaulted.
Being aware of this reality informs our decisions when we assign stories and report them. When we understand that sexual assault is common, we’re less likely to make assumptions about our colleagues and our sources. We may also be less inclined to make comments that belittle the severity of sexual assault — and more inclined to cover it as an ongoing issue rather than as a one-time event.”