In an act of serious journalistic negligence, Fox News this morning ran tape of the Steubenville rape trial in which one of the rapists named the victim.
Typically in sexual assault cases, the major news media’s policy is not to name a victim. This is doubly true in the Steubenville case, where the victim is also a minor. But Fox News, in what seems to be an editing mistake, ran a clip from the court room where Mays said the victim’s name:
I would truly like to apologize to [redacted], her family, my family and the community. No picture should have been sent around, let alone even taken.
Out of respect for the victim, ThinkProgress will not publish the name, or the video.
In an earlier piece on Fox’s news website, the organization did manage to censor out the names of the two rapists, Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond. Their names, however, have been published by news outlets because the boys’ lawyers have openly identified them in court. The victim’s has not, until this point.
Media have clearly struggled with how to represent the case, and earlier coverage from Fox actually bucked a trend of victim-blaming that was prevalent in other news outlets. Still, the negligence in failing to redact the girl’s name is a serious journalistic failure.
Fox News did not immediately return a request for comment.
MSNBC and CNN also ran the clip with the girl’s name, on Sunday. Those networks did not immediately return requests for comment.