What responsibilities do journalists have when reporting on sexual assault? In the past few weeks, two high-profile cases have ignited a heated debate on just that question. One of those cases is an alleged rape case at the University of Virginia first reported by Rolling Stone, the details of which have since been thrown into question by an article in The Washington Post pointing out possible inaccuracies in the magazine’s reporting. The second case involves the numerous allegations of sexual assault made against Bill Cosby. Salamishah Tillet, Associate Professor of English and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, joined Melissa Harris-Perry to discuss her latest Nation piece, Why It’s So Hard to Write About Rape. She explains, “[There is] that skepticism that journalists are supposed to always have when it comes to covering a story. And then we have this kind of inherent skepticism, not inherent, a socialized skepticism against the stories of rape survivors. And when they come together as this moment has produced, there’s a sense to kind of restore the integrity of journalism without necessarily protecting the rights of victims.”
—N’Kosi Oates