David Crabtree on Assignment

How Much Should You Know?

Posted April 19, 2006

The continuing story of the Duke lacrosse players will be with us for some time. Yet people are seeking answers as (1) we are supposed to have access at every item of information at the speed of light and (2) we share all that knowledge unfettered.
Is that really what we are about? Let's hope not.
Many of us in this business succomb to the pressure of getting the story out and getting it out first. It's part of the competitive nature of journalism that drives some of us nuts.
We will continue to pursue bits and pieces of information, to ask tough questions, and to gather as best we can, pertinent facts. The larger question becomes, what do we do with that information? Such as the name of the accuser.
We know her name and have chosen not to make it public. It's a longstanding policy of WRAL-TV, and most news organizations, not to name alleged victims, victims and accusers in rape cases. It is also a longstanding policy TO name suspects in those cases. Is it time to change those policies? If so...why? If not...why?
How do we best serve the public, those involved and future cases? We're struggling with these questions and seek your opinions.
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About this Blog:

WRAL anchor David Crabtree reports from around the world.