Journalists are still working to hold those in power accountable for their actions. They are still “giving voice to the voiceless,” as the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics prescribes.
For anyone who doubts that, take a look at the New York Times story on a sexual complaint at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and the changes it is causing.
Case in point: A group of U.S. Senators from BOTH political parties have agreed on at least one thing — Something has to change. Colleges need to be held accountable for how they handle sexual assault complaints. There should never be another Anna, the name of the gang rape victim in the Times story.
The bill the senators have proposed includes requirements for sexual assault investigations and financial punishments for colleges who fail to follow the rules.
If you have yet to read the Times story, I urge you to do so for two reasons: It is good journalism and it is written by Walt Bogdanich, a multiple Pulitzer Prize winner. I wouldn’t be surprised if he won a fourth Pulitzer Prize for his work on this story.
I’m going to be using this story as an example in my journalism classes. Old school journalism — interviews, records, verification and story-telling — still make a difference today. Just ask Anna.