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Key Coverage of Title IX and Sexual Assault

Journalists’ coverage of sexual assault allegations involving students, instructors, coaches or other educational staff has run the gamut from stellar to abysmal. 

Some reporters’ investigations into allegations of rape or sexual assault in educational institutions have provided justice to long-ignored victims, and sparked policy changes that have protected the vulnerable. But this fraught topic has also been the subject of some extremely sloppy, inaccurate and harmful publications.

To assist reporters looking to provide fair and accurate coverage of this highly emotional and difficult issue, here is a list of some of the most important journalism on the topics of campus sexual assault and Title IX. 

These stories are listed chronologically:

The Accusations Were Lies. But Could We Prove It?,” about sexual assault accusations against an Arizona State University professor, from The New York Times (2020)

Predator Pipeline: NCAA looks the other way as athletes punished for sex offenses play on,” from USA Today (2019)
Finalist for 2019 National Awards for Education Reporting for Investigative Journalism for Larger Newsrooms

The Revolt of the Feminist Law Profs: Jeannie Suk Gersen and the fight to save Title IX from itself,” from The Chronicle of Higher Education (2019)

Betrayed: How Chicago Schools Failed to Protect Students From Sexual Abuse,” from the Chicago Tribune (2018)
Winner of 2018 National Awards for Education Reporting for Public Service Journalism for Large Newsrooms

Spartan Secrets,” from ESPN (2018)
Winner of the 2018 Investigative Reporters and Editors Award for Sports Investigations

Blurred Lines: Rethinking Sex, Power, and Consent on Campus,” by Vanessa Grigoriadis (2017)
See also “Sexual Assault on Campus and the Lessons of a Botched Book Review,” from The New Yorker (2017)

The Uncomfortable Truth About Campus Rape Policy: At many schools, the rules intended to protect victims of sexual assault mean students have lost their right to due process — and an accusation of wrongdoing can derail a person’s entire college education,” from The Atlantic (2017)

Benefit of the Doubt: Evading Allegations of Educator Sexual Misconduct,” from The Oregonian (2017)
Winner of 2017 National Awards for Education Reporting for News or Features for Mid-sized Newsrooms 

Campus Rape Coverage: Investigation of Rapes at Utah Colleges,” from the Salt Lake Tribune (2016)
Winner of 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting

Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town,” by Jon Krakauer (2015)
See also “Krakauer’s ‘Missoula’ and the scrutinty of reporters who cover rape,” from CJR (2015)

Rolling Stone’s investigation: ‘A failure that was unavoidable,’” from CJR (2015)