Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Journalistic Code of Ethics - Guidelines by the US Department of Justice

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Steven I. Weiss / Ami Eden / Phil Jacobs / Gary Rosenblatt

As we all know Jewish communities have not been kind to rape victims. When survivors have made disclosures they are often met with denial; and are often shamed and blamed.

All one needs to do is watch this video tape of Rabbi Abraham Twerski talking about the threats made against him when he first started advocating for battered women. Can you imagine what happens when someone starts talking about being a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, sexual assault or clergy abuse (professional sexual misconduct)?

According to statistics in the secular world, less then 16% of all rape victims never report what happened to them to law enforcement.

Gary Rosenblatt, Phil Jacobs, Ami Eden, Blogger - Steven I. Weiss and other editors of Jewish papers have set up a protocol that are just not realistic. I've been told that they will not write stories of sex crimes (sexual abuse/assault) unless they have 3 victims of the same offender willing to come forward and allow the papers to use their full names in articles.

As we all know that the only way to change the way our communities handled cases is by education and also by exposing individuals who are dangerous to our children, family members and friends.

We need to demand that Ami Eden, Gary Rosenblatt, Phil Jacobs, Steven I. Weiss and other Jewish news media groups change their policies. According to the US Dept. of Justice a journalist should NEVER demand that a victim of a sex crime be identified by name.

When discussing these issue with a friend, she reminded me that in the case of Watergate the sources name was not made public until recently, and that was only with the permission of the individual.

Why is it that an individual who was sexually violated would have to be named in order to protect our communties from sexual preditors?

Please write to the following people and demand they change their policies.
Gary Rosenblatt - New York Jewish Week
Phil Jacobs - Baltimore Jewish Times
Steven I. Weiss - Canonist
Ami Eden - Forward

The news media should--

  • Present details about a crime in a fair, objective, and balanced manner.
  • Recognize the importance of publishing or broadcasting information that can contribute to public safety and, at the same time, balance this need with the victim's need for privacy.
  • Respect the privacy of individuals who choose to refrain from dealing with the media or who choose to address the media through a spokesperson of their choice.
  • Provide a balanced perspective relevant to a criminal act that reflects the concerns of the victim and offender.
  • Never report rumors or innuendoes about the victim, the offender, or the crime unless such information has been verified by reliable sources.
  • In crimes other than homicide, identify the victim by age and area where the crime occurs, omitting street addresses and block numbers.
  • Refrain from using information gained from private conversations of victims or their relatives who are in shock or distraught.
  • Identify witnesses only when they volunteer to be named, and when there is clearly no danger that can be predicted through their identification by the media.
  • Never publish the identity of a sexual assault victim without his or her prior consent, regardless of whether the case is in the criminal or civil courts.
  • Never publish the identity of a child victim.
  • Never identify alleged or convicted incest offenders when such actions could lead to the identification of the victim.
  • In cases of kidnapping where it is determined that the victim has been sexually assaulted, stop identifying the victim by name once a sexual assault has been alleged.
  • Never identify the names of victims of scams or other crimes that tend to humiliate or degrade the victim without the victim's prior consent.
  • Refrain from photographing or broadcasting images that portray personal grief and/or shock resulting from a criminal act.
  • Never publish photographs or broadcast images that could place the subject in danger.
  • Refrain from showing photographs or broadcast images of deceased victims, body bags, or seriously wounded victims.
  • Never publish photographs or broadcast images of funerals without the surviving family members' prior consent.
  • Refer to drunk driving incidents as "crashes" or "crimes," not accidents, regardless of whether or not the use of alcohol has been determined as a factor.
  • Approach the coverage of all stories related to crime and victimization in a manner that is not lurid, sensational, or intrusive to the victim and his or her family.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do you have Weiss listed here? He's not a journalist, he's a blogger.

August 30, 2006 11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's really funny is that out of the journalists and bloggers out there, Luke Ford is the only individual who has been ethical when reporting on sex crimes in Jewish communities. He's the only one who has been respectful to the wants and needs of victims.

August 30, 2006 11:10 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home