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Feminism, Journalism, or Both? Local Television News Framing of a Campus Rape Scandal
Unformatted Document Text:  Feminism, Journalism, or Both? 18 An informal code of allegiance to area colleagues had to be weighed against making the most of a limited opportunity in one instance. When the college president finally agreed to answer questions on camera, he would only consent to appearing at a press conference under the watchful guise of several public relations consultants, instead of providing the one-on-one interview the station had requested. The producer said she believed that inviting other local media less familiar with the story was calculated to dilute her station’s ability to get their questions answered. Despite their concerns about offending other local media with their behavior at the press conference (Clayman & Reisner, 1998), her station ultimately opted to be very aggressive in their questioning: We’d sit there and we’d be like, OK, let’s be polite. We’ll wait. And then we would pick up, because we have real questions. They had multiple press agents there, people they had hired, media relations people, who flanked us. And, any time we would try to get a line of questioning in, somebody would stand up from one of the public relations firms: “That’s enough. We want to get somebody else in.” Ultimately, deciding to be aggressive led to mixed results for the station: “It was disappointing that it went down that way, but very smart on [the college’s] part because it, in some respect, it did work. Here we were monopolizing a press conference. That’s how everybody looked at it, when what we knew was that we had really been screwed and we were angry. The Administration Mishandled the Response The third frame emerges from a theme mentioned in 21 speech events, which discuss the college administration’s mishandling the response to assaults. This frame overlaps with the first two, usually emerging in discussions related to inadequate steps taken to collect evidence or in seemingly lax punishment of perpetrators. A voice-over description of a newly reported rape

Authors: Worthington, Nancy.
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Feminism, Journalism, or Both? 18
An informal code of allegiance to area colleagues had to be weighed against making the
most of a limited opportunity in one instance. When the college president finally agreed to
answer questions on camera, he would only consent to appearing at a press conference under the
watchful guise of several public relations consultants, instead of providing the one-on-one
interview the station had requested. The producer said she believed that inviting other local
media less familiar with the story was calculated to dilute her station’s ability to get their
questions answered. Despite their concerns about offending other local media with their behavior
at the press conference (Clayman & Reisner, 1998), her station ultimately opted to be very
aggressive in their questioning:
We’d sit there and we’d be like, OK, let’s be polite. We’ll wait. And then we would pick
up, because we have real questions. They had multiple press agents there, people they
had hired, media relations people, who flanked us. And, any time we would try to get a
line of questioning in, somebody would stand up from one of the public relations firms:
“That’s enough. We want to get somebody else in.”
Ultimately, deciding to be aggressive led to mixed results for the station: “It was disappointing
that it went down that way, but very smart on [the college’s] part because it, in some respect, it
did work. Here we were monopolizing a press conference. That’s how everybody looked at it,
when what we knew was that we had really been screwed and we were angry.
The Administration Mishandled the Response
The third frame emerges from a theme mentioned in 21 speech events, which discuss the
college administration’s mishandling the response to assaults. This frame overlaps with the first
two, usually emerging in discussions related to inadequate steps taken to collect evidence or in
seemingly lax punishment of perpetrators. A voice-over description of a newly reported rape


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