Cleveland Gang-Rape Coverage: Controversy Doesn't Die

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

The heat over media coverage of the Cleveland gang-rape doesn't show much signs of slacking, as critics question whether stories in The New York Times and Houston Chronicle displayed a "blame the victim" tone.

A round-up of the latest (We've asked Chronicle editor Jeff Cohen for reaction to the criticism; we'll update with any response See update):

The Times responded to the criticism, in a way. A spokesperson said the controversial views were those of residents, not the reporter: "We are very aware of and sensitive to the concerns that arise in reporting about sexual assault," she said. "This story is still developing and there is much to be learned about how something so horrific could have occurred."

The Houston Chronicle brought out boringly earnest, rarely surprising Lisa Falkenberg for a front-page column telling readers that raping 11-year-olds is bad.

Slate weighed in, didn't mention the Chron.

ABC News had a lengthy take on the incident.

And a feminist blog called Chron reporter Cindy Horswell's CNN appearance "a clusterfuck of fail."

Update: Here's Jeff Cohen's take:

People who criticize us for reporting are criticizing the messengers not the speakers. This is a horrific, tragic story. We always edit with care but have been doubly sensitive with regard to anything out of Cleveland. I guess I'd point you to today's Page One column by Lisa Falkenberg. She summed up our feelings quite well.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.