Rape and the Media: Victim’s Rights to Anonymity and Effects of Technology on the Standard of Rape Coverage.
The purpose of this paper is to raise issues in relation to the media coverage of rape. The Julian Assange scandal, which involved two women making accusations of rape and sexual molestation against him, recently sparked debate as to whether rape victim’s rights to privacy should outweigh the press’s right to freedom of expression. In doing so, the paper shall compare the approaches of the UK and the US. The arguments for and against preferencing the victim’s rights to privacy shall be examined and conclusions will be drawn as to which jurisdictional approach is preferable. Another issue which will be examined is the impact of increased use of online technology on the quality of news coverage of crime, with emphasis on rape and how poor quality coverage of this particular crime has negative repercussions. The paper shall then provide suggestions for ways to reform the law which would raise standards of press coverage of rape in general.