Monday, September 12, 2016

Are You Asking all the Right Questions?

Sarah Blankenship

Cover your bases, journalists. Think of everything that you could possibly want answered, and then keep on thinking of questions.

Recently in the news, Brock Turner, who is also known as the Stanford rapist, has been a hot topic. We all know that Turner raped a girl behind a dumpster during a frat party. We know that he was only sentenced to 6 months in county jail and served only three of those months.

This isn't something we should just let happen.

Journalists are getting the facts and prompting the public to offer their opinions. In this Newsweek article, Joseph Margulies notes problems such as white and male privileges, the laws around this case, and he challenges us to question the way things are.

Obviously something needs to change.

These privileges and laws are not the only things being analyzed in this case, and it is the duty of journalists to dig deeper and see every side. They need to ask questions that the public has yet to think of and uncover and share the injustices.

In our reading titled "Dilemmas and Moral Questions: The Heart of Ethical Decision Making" by James E. Lukaszewski and Members of the Board of Ethics and Professional Standards for the Public Relations Society of America, they ask, "What was sacrificed to benefit the victims?"

The media and the public have sacrificed any effort to cover up Turner's actions to protect him in any way. It wasn't always that way.

I remember the backlash when the first articles about the case referred to Turner as the "Stanford Swimmer." This is white male privilege.

Photo provided by

Another problem with the first articles about this case was that Turner's school photo was used instead of his mug shot. If you are not seeing the white male privilege here, I have some questions for you about your ethical decisions and morals.

Are journalists asking enough questions? Who is to blame for all of the bias and miscommunication in the media? As Lukaszewski and Members of the Board of Ethics and Professional Standards for PRSA asked, "Is it really our problem?"

Maybe this case doesn't affect all of us on a personal level, but we should care about the safety of our fellow citizens. We should ask more questions and demand answers. We live in this democracy; everyone is equal. Turner did not treat his victim as an equal or even as a human being.

Journalists are here to demand answers on behalf of us, the audience. This article from NBC is putting all the facts out there about what followed Turner's release from jail. Journalists are here to share the truth, at least journalists are supposed to tell the whole truth.

Are there more questions that could be asked about Turner's case and how it affects our laws and our lives? Probably.

The more questions we ask, the more truth will be revealed, and more changes will be made. It all starts with us, the audience, and journalists to fire the questions as soon as we think of them.

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