Offer: Free Course at NewsU/Poynter: Reporting on Sexual Violence
Crimes of sexual violence are among the most underreported crimes in our society. Compounding the problem is that media coverage of these crimes often perpetuates stereotypes and cultural myths, rather than providing context and increasing understanding or awareness of sexual violence.
One in five people will experience sexual violence; reporters cannot avoid this complex and challenging topic. But covering sexual violence requires context — an understanding of who perpetrates these crimes, who is affected, and how sexual violence can be prevented. It also requires sensitivity, compassion and professionalism, both in interviewing survivors and in choosing the words to honestly and clearly describe these crimes.
This self-directed course provides necessary context to understanding crimes of sexual violence that target individuals of all ages and backgrounds. It dispels the many myths surrounding sexually violent crimes and suggests strategies for telling the truth about sexual violence through accurate language, reporting, headlines and photos.
Compassionate-but-thorough coverage requires a wealth of background information as well as credible sources, so a rich resources section provides statistics, links to research and databases, and additional resources to facilitate reporting on sexual violence.
This course bridges the gaps in many reporters' understanding of sexual violence, for example explaining the differences between prevention and risk reduction and explaining different types of sexual violence. It offers guidelines for interviewing survivors of sexual violence in a professional, compassionate manner and explains the roles played by video, audio and photographs in telling their stories.