THE SCENARIO: You are a reporter for a local newspaper. You come back to the office one day to find several staff members discussing this story: Two teenagers have been killed in an automobile accident. The driver, who survived, had been drinking prior to the accident. The two girls in the back seat, both of whom were killed, were nude at the time of the accident. 2 Your colleague, another reporter, is pushing for all the known facts to be reported. But the editor argues that the fact of the girls’ nudity should not be revealed; he claims that such information will just be an additional insult to their parents, who already are suffering from the girls’ deaths.
Ask: Do you have a right to publish: The fact that the driver was drinking? The fact that the girls were nude at the time of the accident?
Would it be responsible to publish these facts in reporting the accident? Brainstorm ALONE about things to consider in deciding whether to report this information:
Do we have all the facts? Has anyone interviewed the survivor?
Does the newspaper have a policy on printing names of sexual-assault victims?
Will publishing the information help anyone else?
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