YOUR VIEW: Naming Alleged Victim Draws Criticism

4 years 1 week 2 days ago Wednesday, October 09 2013 Oct 9, 2013 Wednesday, October 09, 2013 7:03:00 PM CDT October 09, 2013 in Your View
By: Taylor Beck & Ellie Coatar, KOMU 8 Producers
loading

COLUMBIA - In September, KOMU 8 News aired a story continuing our coverage of the sexual harassment and assault allegations against Osage County Sheriff Michael Dixon.  

In the original report as well as follow-ups, KOMU 8 News made the decision to name the victim on air and online, which frustrated some viewers.

Kelly Suzann Harding expressed her concern on our Facebook page.

"Don't you think it would have been prudent for you all to avoid listing any accusers' names in your article since the police report only identifies the victim by initials? Way to out the alleged victim, KOMU," Harding wrote.

KOMU 8 News content manager Matt Johnson said the victim's name was public knowledge throughout the community.

"A lot of the people we spoke to down in Belle knew the victim, knew about the allegations and so because of that we felt there was no harm to be done by using her name," Johnson said.

KOMU 8 News spoke with the alleged victim back in July when reporters used her name in the stories.

"We also spoke with her on the phone, and she was aware that we were doing several stories on this, and she was also okay with us using her name," Johnson said.

KOMU 8 News did not reveal to the audience that anyone in the newsroom had spoken with the alleged victim at all, which prompted some other viewers to comment on our Facebook page, including Sandra Veltrop.

"You screwed up KOMU, and you've been screwing up more and more lately. And as a result of this, you are going to lose viewers, just like me. And if I was the victim, I would be furious with you. So with that being said, goodbye and good luck," Veltrop wrote.

KOMU 8 News consulted MU professor Sandy Davidson who specializes in this type of law.

"It becomes an ethical question of whether to use a sexual assault or rape victim's name. But, I think it can be empowering if the person as consented and that person's name is used," Davidson said.

Davidson says KOMU 8 News' mistake was a lack of transparency.

"The mistake, I believe was that the station did not tell viewers that indeed she has consented. And, of course, that caused criticism," Davidson said. 

So what do you think? Should we have named the alleged victim? Should we have been more transparent and told our viewers we spoke with the victim beforehand? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus. Then watch Friday nights at 6 as we report "Your View" of the news.

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - For Harold’s Doughnuts owner Michael Urban, big customer turnout and big sales are Homecoming traditions he looks forward... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 8:13:00 AM CDT October 19, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Homecoming weekend is a big deal in Columbia with thousands flocking in for festivities, including tailgating prior to... More >>
6 hours ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 3:35:00 AM CDT October 19, 2017 in News
BOONEVILLE - Law enforcement took two into custody after a car chase late Wednesday night. The couple was identified... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 12:09:00 AM CDT October 19, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS - Southwest's first all-female crew took off from Missouri on Wednesday. The flight traveled from St. Louis... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 10:07:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jaden Schwartz had his third career hat trick to help the St. Louis Blues beat the... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 10:06:59 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police Department responded to a call at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday afternoon in West Columbia. They are... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 7:39:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
MEXICO-- As Domestic Violence Awareness Month comes to a close, a report by the Violence Policy Center shows that Missouri... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 7:29:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
ASHLAND - Children, parents and politicians attended a Youth Town Hall featuring Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, R-Missouri, Wednesday evening at the... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 7:14:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - After an active threat on MU’s campus, some are disappointed with the MU Alert system and question its... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 6:51:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Downtown Leadership Council met Tuesday to decide how to spend fees paid by developers to compensate businesses... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 5:33:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — An Arkansas man who made bomb threats to a county courthouse in Missouri so his court hearing... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 4:31:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
MOBERLY - Police arrested a man Tuesday on suspicion of more than a dozen crimes, including rape, statutory rape, sodomy,... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 3:31:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Six years after being one of the first 16 schools to incorporate the Coulter Awards, MU has become... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 3:14:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – People struggling with alcoholism can find help more easily with a new online navigator tool released by the... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 3:12:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A judge has fined a central Missouri prosecutor more than $12,000 for failing to provide records... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 2:52:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – Rep. Vicky Hartzler, (R)-Missouri, presented a new piece of legislation she says is aimed at getting more people... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 2:24:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A new report sheds light physical confrontations between a Missouri hospital's staff and patients that put the... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 2:13:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
MOUNTAIN VIEW (AP) — Authorities have confirmed that remains found in March in southern Missouri are a woman who has... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 2:08:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 56°
10am 62°
11am 66°
12pm 70°
1pm 72°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

9:00a
Megyn Kelly TODAY
10:00a
Today with Kathie Lee & Hoda
11:00a
Rachael Ray
9:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show
10:00a
Jerry Springer
11:00a
Jerry Springer

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Superstore
7:30p
The Good Place
8:00p
Will & Grace
8:31p
Great News
9:00p
Chicago Fire
7:00p
Supernatural
8:00p
Arrow
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld