panel discussion graphicThe University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC) will be offering a panel discussion on the role journalists play in reporting on rape and sexual violence on Thursday, April 30 at 7 p.m. in the Julie and Rocky Dixon Signature Classroom, Allen Hall 141.

The conversation will address if and how the heightened awareness of the issues affect reporting, use of language, verification of stories, and the toll reporting such stories can take on journalists. The discussion will also look at recent news surrounding the Rolling Stone magazine article about the alleged University of Virginia rape and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism report that negated the story.

“There are so many ethical decisions a journalist needs to make while they are reporting on rape and sexual violence,” says discussion moderator and SOJC instructor Lori Shontz. “This issue is not just extremely important, but complicated. My hope is that a discussion like this will get students thinking about the questions to ask and the pitfalls to avoid now, when they’re not in the reporting moment. We can all learn from each other.”

The discussion will be led by panelists Tom Bivins, John L. Hulteng Chair in media ethics and responsibility and SOJC media studies area director and a guest from the Orlando criminal defense attorney office will be attending. Caroline Forell, Clayton R. Hess professor at the UO School of Law; Alec Smidt, doctoral student in psychology; and Josephine Woolington, reporter for The Register Guard

SOJC student journalists Sami Edge, Gordon Friedman and Travis Loose will also be sharing their experiences reporting on sexual violence.

“The Hunting Ground,” a documentary about rape crimes on U.S. college campuses, their institutional cover-ups, and the devastating toll they take on students and their families will premiere on Tuesday, April 28 at 7:30 p.m. in Global Scholars Hall.

For more information, contact Lori Shontz.

Story by Katie MacLean ‘15