A new study from our valued partners at Berkeley Media Studies Group (BMSG), Breaking news on child sexual abuse: Early coverage of Penn State, analyzes the first nine days of coverage and what reporters could have done differently. We encourage you to read the full study. In this week’s Huffington Post, Reporters Can Do Better: New Report on Media Coverage of Sandusky, co-authored with BMSG, we highlight the report findings, explaining how news coverage can reach past a single case to investigate how to prevent child sexual abuse, including what institutions can do.
The study, commissioned by the Ms. Foundation for Women, confirms that coverage often focuses more on the perpetrator than on the community norms that need to be changed. Journalists and advocates have a unique opportunity to shift the conversation to how institutions can create environments that prevent sexual abuse from occurring, the in first place.