Fox News airs name of 16-year-old Steubenville rape victim in Monday coverage

By David Edwards
Monday, March 18, 2013 11:35 EDT
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Fox News correspondent Mike Tobin
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Fox News on Monday aired the name of a underage victim of a disturbing rape in Steubenville, Ohio.

During correspondent Mike Tobin’s report about the guilty verdicts in the Steubenville rape case on Fox News’ America’s Newsroom, the girl’s first name was broadcast without being censored.

“We have not known, really, how the victim is doing, Mike,” host Martha MacCallum told Tobin. “Is there any information on that today?”

“Well, a relative tells me that she spends a lot of time in her room,” Tobin explained. “She has been back out playing sports, and through it all — you’ll be surprised to learn — she made the honor roll one more time.”

“A family representative says the remorse coming from the football players came too late,” the correspondent added. “We saw their reaction yesterday.”

At that point, the report cut to footage of one of the rapists, 17-year-old Trent Mays, apologizing to the victim in court on Sunday.

“I would truly like to apologize to [redacted], her family, my family and the community,” Mays said. “No picture [of the rape] should have been sent around, let alone even taken.”

Raw Story has redacted the victim’s first name from this report and the video below, but Fox News did not.

A Fox News editor’s note added to an Associated Press report published on Sunday insisted that the conservative network would not name the minors charged in the case.

“Editors’ Note: The Associated Press named the minors charged due to the fact they have been identified in other news coverage and their names were used in open court,” the note said. “FoxNews.com will not name the defendants.”

The National Alliance to End Sexual Violence encourages news organizations “not to publish the names of minors who come forward with allegations of sexual abuse or rape and to avoid reporting stories in such a way that these minors are identifiable.”

The alliance recommended that news organizations “report these stories with sensitivity toward the stigma associated with being publicly named.”

On Sunday, CNN host Candy Crowley and reporter Poppy Harlow came under fire after expressing sympathy for the rapists and making little mention of the rape victim.

During Monday news reports, however, CNN censored the victim’s name while airing the same clip of Mays apologizing that Fox News had broadcast undited.

Watch this video from Fox News’ America’s Newsroom, broadcast March 18, 2013.


[Ed. note: Shortly after the verdict was read on Sunday morning, a number of outlets, including at least CNN (as part of its overall coverage as noted on Raw Story), WTRF (the CBS affiliate in Steubenville, which is owned by West Virginia Media Holdings along with the local ABC and Fox affiliates) and MSNBC, aired unedited footage of one of the rapist's apology to his victim in which he used the young woman's first name. MSNBC edited the clip to redact the woman's name by the "NBC Nightly News" airing of the story and Raw Story has ascertained that CNN was using an redacted version of the clip by Monday morning. The original clip no longer appears on WTRF's website. Fox News appears to have removed all its previously-accessible Steubenville videos from its site, and refused to speak on the record with Raw Story about airing the unredacted clip on Monday morning or answer any questions about whether they planned to redact the name from the clip in the future.]

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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