FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 26, 2013
Contact: Kath Cummins
Washington, DC -- "Naming and blaming victims, making martyrs of accused perpetrators, and giving unwarranted platforms to convicted sex offenders has become a regular feature of media coverage," said Mai Fernandez, Executive Director of the National Center for Victims of Crime.
"It is time for the media to develop strong protocols for reporting on cases sexual assault and child abuse."
She was commenting on NBC's decision to air segments of a film, reportedly titled "The Framing of Joe Paterno" on the Today show, in which documentary film maker John Ziegler interviews convicted child rapist and former Penn State football coach, Jerry Sandusky from prison.
"The documentary is not a legitimate piece of investigative journalism and reveals nothing which could be said to exonerate Mr Sandusky. The victims' side of the story was ignored. NBC has merely created a platform for a convicted child rapist serving 30 years for 45 counts of child sexual abuse," Ms Fernandez said.
"By giving an un-warranted platform to a serial child abuser in a desperate quest for ratings, NBC has shown their contempt for victims and for their audience," Ms Fernandez said. "NBC should issue an apology to the victims and their families, and to their audience, who deserve thoughtful, rigorous, and sensitive reporting."
NBC's actions come in the week after it and other national TV networks and affiliates negligently broadcast the name of the 16 year-old victim in the Steubenville, Ohio rape case.
The National Center has joined with other victim and survivor advocates to protest NBC's decision to broadcast the Sandusky interview. For more information see the joint letter to NBC.
The National Center for Victims of Crime, established in 1985, is the nation’s leading resource and advocacy organization for crime victims and those who serve them. For more than 25 years, the National Center has led this nation’s struggle to provide crime victims with the rights, protections, and services they need to rebuild their lives.