With the recent revelations involving both Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Arnold Schwarzenegger, the issue of victim and child confidentiality has been thrust front and center along with the broadere issue of journalistic ethics. Gone are the days of integrity in journalism while a new era of getting the scoop at all costs.
By now, you have likely seen the images of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s illegitimate son but you likely have not seen the images of Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s alleged sexual assault victim. While there have been leaks of Strauss-Kahn’s alleged victim’s face in France, for the most part the American media has refrained from releasing her image. Yet, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s son’s image has been published all over the internet and by traditional media outlets. Why?
In the case of Schwarzenegger’s son, what appears to have happened is that the traditional media outlets waited until their internet cousins published photos. When that happened, the traditional outlets decided that the image was already out there so they published the boy’s photograph. It was apparent that anyone who knew the mother could deduce the boy’s identity but there was a time when the traditional media outlets would never compromise an innocent child simply to achieve a “we were there to” position in the story.
In the case of Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s alleged victim, a simple Google search reveals that her image has for the most part been concealed on the internet. Apparently, the new media outlets continue to adhere to the old policy of not publishing a sexual assault victim’s photograph. Due in part to this, traditional media outlets have not been scooped on that information and have not compromised their ethics but it is only a matter of time.
In a world more and more dominated by the internet, the old media outlets have decided that the only way to stay competitive with the internet is to embrace their lack of journalistic ethics. This includes more and more stories of blatantly ignoring the obligation to fact check and also includes the compromising of the old idea of keeping the identities of innocent children confidential.
For more information on what has happened to Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s alleged victim since reporting him for sexual assault you can read this article:
For more information on the hurdles faced by the son Arnold Schwarzenegger had with his housekeeper read this article: