Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Pittsburgh Papers Offer Contrasting Coverage of Roethlisberger Sex Assault Lawsuit

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Pittsburgh Papers Offer Contrasting Coverage of Roethlisberger Sex Assault Lawsuit

Article excerpt

Pittsburgh's two major daily newspapers took very opposite approaches today in reporting the civil lawsuit filed against Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, which accuses him of sexually assaulting a woman in Nevada.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran its report as its lead Page One story, with a headline across the top declaring: "Sex assault lawsuit names Roethlisberger."

The story is also a top article on the paper's Web site, which posted a copy of the civil suit document.

The rival Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, however, barely mentions the lawsuit on Page One, noting it only in a sports blurb at the bottom of the page that states: "A Nevada woman accuses Ben Roethlisberger of rape -- accusations he has denied."

On the Tribune-Review Web site, meanwhile, the only story about the lawsuit is down in the sports section, and not even as a top sports story.

Both newspapers withheld the woman's name and did not run a photo of her. The Post-Gazette, in its posting of the lawsuit, also redacted her name.

"It is our policy not to name them," Post-Gazette Editor David Shribman said of the decision to withhold the accuser's identity. He told E&P: "You don't change long-standing policies in the midst of a tumultuous news story."

Editor Frank Craig of the Tribune-Review cited the fact that the story involved a civil lawsuit in a case in which no criminal charges have been filed. …

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