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Media Coverage of the Duke Lacrosse Scandal

Powerful Essays
Media Coverage of the Duke Lacrosse Scandal The 2006 Duke Lacrosse Case brought to light many of the issues and divisions currently plaguing our media sphere. This terrible act of injustice, which blamed three innocent Duke lacrosse players, Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, and David Evans, for the rape of an African-American stripper, garnered extensive media attention that gripped America for almost an entire year (Wasserman, 3). Today, many scrutinze the media’s methods of covering the case, and deem that certain codes of ethics were not adhered to. Rather than remaining neutral, newspapers and TV outlets allowed themselves to “be used” by Mike Nifong, the former District Attorney for Durham and prosecutor of the case, by reporting only his version of the incident and investigation (11). While some newspapers like Newsweek and The News & Observer were relatively quick to recognize flaws in the investigation, many prominent outlets like The New York Times overlooked important evidence and published inaccurate information. In response to this, the Duke Lacrosse Case saw a huge rise in blog reporting, as many sought to uncover the truth. Conclusively, the media overstepped its boundaries when reporting on this particular case, demonstrating the compelling effects sensationalism has on the field of journalism. The date that marked the beginning of this particular case was March 13, 2006. It was the week of Spring Break for Duke University, and the lacrosse team was required to stay in Durham for training. On the night of the 13th, some of the older players decided to hire strippers for a team party they planned to have at their off-campus house. Senior and captain, Dan Flannery, contacted Allure Escort Service that day and paid ... ... middle of paper ... ...n. Overall, the lessons learned from the Duke Lacrosse Case are important ones, and the media should always be wary to not judge too quickly. Works Cited "Duke Rape Suspects Speak Out." CBSNews. CBS Interactive. Web. 15 Apr. 2014. . "Durham-in-Wonderland." Durham-in-Wonderland. Web. 16 Apr. 2014. . "NewsObserver.com." DNA Tests Ordered for Duke Athletes. Web. 15 Apr. 2014. . Seigel, Michael L. Race to Injustice: Lessons Learned from the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic, 2009. Print. Wasserman, Howard M. Institutional Failures: Duke Lacrosse, Universities, the News Media, and the Legal System. Farnham, Surrey, England: Ashgate Pub., 2011. Print.