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They've done that because it's still at accusation, pending proof, level haven't they?
...but fair enough. I didn't find it offensive.
It's imply a legal thing that, as there's been no conviction of crime yet, it'd be libel to call someone a rapist. Even when the evidence is that
It'd potentially be libel to call someone a rapist Even when the evidence seems that conclusive.
just say alleged rapist. you wouldn't put "murder" in quotes. yet that still has to be proven. same with pretty much all offences against the person i can think of.
Although it depends on context. If you've established that someone was unlawfully killed but didn't know who did it then you'd put that they were murdered.
If you were suggesting someone killed someone but they hadn't been convicted (say, during a trial), you'd say x "murdered" y.
In this case, because saying the contestant was raped would clearly link it with the perpetrator as there's no question of who would have done it if she had been raped, I can see why they've put "raped" to avoid making a direct statement of fact about something that's not yet been proven in court.
never seen that.
even if someone has been unlawfully killed, the perpetrator could have a full (self-defence) or partial (manslaughter) defence, it's not even correct to use the word murder let alone put it in quotes.
point is, if someone had been stabbed to death on big brother, live on tv, the we would not be saying contestant "murdered" on big brother. people would be saying a contestant was murdered, whether that's true or not.
Headlines are not written to reflect the way people speak and the various nuances thereof. They are written to reflect the content of the story as briefly as possible. And sometimes to make a pun about a fluffy kitten getting stuck up a tree, or a load of milk getting spilled on a motorway.
It's insensitive, sure. But not remarkable in anyway.
It's nice that you'd make a little barbed remark like that.
No, wait. It isn't. Something that happens often isn't remarkable. It's that simple. Sorry if my use of plain English is somehow insensitive.
I just don't think we should accept this sort of reporting because its standard.
I really don't think that if someone had clearly been stabbed on big brother they would bother doubting it. yes there are different evidence rules etc. but headlines like this pretty much send the message yeah we agree with the law, the onus should be on the victim!
but me finding something unremarkable doesn't mean that I'm okay with it- lots of unremarkable things are pretty awful and shouldn't happen.
I know just how important language and it's slippery little nuances are in all forms of prejudice, but I honestly think the headline is better this way. Like I said below, I think it characterises the guy as a rapist far more effectively and viscerally than any of the (allowed) alternatives would.
and not the woman's experience blah blah blah. i get you though. no acrimony x
Rape isn't as straightforward because there's the whole issue of consent to deal with.
Given the fact that the woman was allegedly asleep, then that does sound admittedly quite conclusive. Rape can of course be very conclusive. However, it's not always that easy to prove. Given that you seem to have some pretty strong opinions on the matter, I thought you'd have been able to see the distinction.
But the whole issue of consent, which muddies the waters of 'proving' a rape isn't always straightforward. Hence why there tends to be a bit more caution when reporting it/writing headlines (which brings us back to the original point - the use of quote marks).
You wouldn't let someone sign their will if they were sleepwalking, heavily intoxicated or swore blind they were under duress. it's just one person alleging absence or vitiation of consent against another alleging lies.
"In 2007 a US judge refused to allow the word rape to be used during a court case. He claimed that it was too strong a word to use and could sway the emotions of the jury, affecting their impartiality."
I can see why people have these problems reporting it, with the way the law works and has historically worked. But we still have a massive issue with the way we conduct the discourse. The quote above is an extreme example of what this discourse can signify for lots of people.
I see where you're coming from and I can't be arsed to split hairs - but I think with stabbing you've used a bad example.
I understand and agree with your broader points about rape and the issues around it. I just think that it's a bit misdirected on the use of speechmarks here...
Whilst I'd love to say that, with evidence like this, there's no question that this man will be found guilty in a court of law, sadly the fact people have been frequently acquitted despite extremely strong circumstantial evidence of their guilt suggests that it's not impossible he'll be acquitted.
it's the way we and the entire system processes it.
Although it more often has the variant "killed".
Re your first (or second - not sure which to call it) paragraph - it depends where the police enquiry is. If the police are treating an investigation as murder, papers put murder without quotes. If not they would (or should) be a bit more circumspect with language.
Third paragraph, papers would probably put stabbed to death as that would clearly be fact, but wouldn't identify the crime as that could be libel. We're obviously now speculating though.
because video footage of somebody being stabbed is so blatantly murder they wouldn't have to worry about legal repercussions - that's an extreme example, obvs.
i would argue video footage of somebody being raped probably has varying degrees of value as evidence, and more to the point, i doubt anybody in the media has even seen it yet.
'Contestant allegedly raped on Big Brother' when there's incontrovertible evidence the rape too place would be any less insensitive, tbh. Personally, I'd say the headline as it is better and more brutal- it characterises someone who we know, even if the legal system hasn't yet reached the same conclusion, to be a rapist as a rapist.
This is no argument to prove your grasp of the nuances of the English language
Thought 'meh, fair enough'.
Read further down.
Saw you having a little breakdown about 'the nuances of the English language'.
but someone told me to get off the sideline - noone calls me out ON THE INTERNET. I have credibility to tarnish
(haven't read the details).
but yeah point is we should be more willing to see evidence of rape as close to incontrovertible rather than contingent on a court working out if the person in question is just a massive liar.
it's not like this guy has been killed and the guy who killed him is trying to say he was consensually murdered or something.
"X 'murdered' Y" or some variation thereof is pretty common in tabloid reporting.
no wonder they get in so much trouble all the time
never meant I'd use language like that in a headline. i would just say killed or stabbed or w/ever.
would be the Kercher/Knox case. Saw headlines to that effect all the time with that story.
...which is a different kettle of onions when it comes to expressing it. Not really an apt comparison...
A wide, horrific mix
All the ones I saw were either someone being charged, someone being found guilty, murdered people being identified or used the word accused (hence avoiding the use of quotation marks). As far as I could see there's none there that states someone of being guilty with a crime that they haven't yet been convicted of, which is the key thing here.
It'd be better to construct a headline that doesn't rely on you putting rape in quotes?
If so then I'd possibly agree in general but also agree with DK it'd be difficult to this in practice in this story without equally (or perhaps more so) seeming to soften the severity of what happened.
not a cut and dried conviction
i'm not sure that's the words i would have used
it seems like they saw she was raped, then called her into the diary room the next day, THEN called the police.
i suppose if there was any doubt as to what happened that had to be the course of action.
...a little bit too far.
."She's not saying no, I'm sure the multiple cameras will see it from my point of view"
Some of you are being utter cunts in this thread
get off the sideline you boring idiot
"boring idiot" is such a blunt insult. Harsher than cunt I'd say.
totally going in my note book
for this kind of situation, then the kindest thing would be to have you castrated.
*Is ridiculously stupid
I suspect this would make all media lawyers in need of castration.
You dont fucking put "rape" because the situation is - girl gets drunk - ends up having sex (in the vaguest sense of the word) - doesnt remember - THROWN OUT IN COURT BECAUSE SHE OBVIOUSLY DESERVED IT / WAS ASKING FOR IT / WAS HER OWN FAULT. You just dont FUCKING PUT THE WORD RAPE anywhere near the article if youre that concerned about its legality and also dont want to come across as a fucking twat.
I bow to you
Anyway, all I'm going on is the fact that - admittedly quite a while back - I studied media law on my BA and MA and quite simply they can't put the word rape without quotation marks without prosecution.
And, if your latter point was that they just shouldn't use rape on the article at all, I honestly don't see what other word they could have used when someone climbs in bed with a girl and has sex with them whilst they're unconscious.
you dont think "Big Brother contestant accused of sexual assault on show" would have infinitely more sensible? Noones arguing that they shouldnt have put commas around the word, but the far reaching connotations of putting "RAPE" should mean that they shouldnt have put it at all. Do you now understand? Or were those years studying BA, MA and now PGCE wasted?
But I don't think the headline they've put is anywhere near as inappropriate or insensitive as you and a couple of others in this thread feel it to be.
but Im not the type to get overly concerned at language or vague inferences to things, this seems like basic stuff though. Sorry if I got slightly personal in the last post btw
No worries about getting personal - I never read anything more into these things than the heat of an argument.
If the police had said sexual assault / sexual offence, then I'm sure the media would have used that instead.
Dont get me wrong, its not like I think youre a mass rapist now for not agreeing with me, but the incredibly specific situation just seemed give the way the headlines presented pretty disgusting overtones. I guess Im in the minority for once!
they can just say alleged rape.
Although, thinking about this, I accept it might be partially perception. When I see newspaper headlines use inverted commas I don't think of them as scare quotes so much as simply what newspapers use when they want to say something that prosecutors allege happened but know they can't prove it.
Admittedly, I accept the frequency of inverted commas in tabloids outside of that legal setting does mean that some people might interpret them differently as implying something didn't really happen. It certainly isn't what I'd assume from them but I suppose I can see why others would.
I think if a newspaper runs a particularly offensive or distressing article it should include a trigger warning. Not a big "RAPE" sign reminding them about that time one of the worst things imaginable happened to them and everyone thought they were crazy.
he's going NUTS
I wonder how this would be reported if it had happened in this country. Given it had happened in the public eye, I guess the media would argue it would be farcical to try and censor the information, but I don't know how the courts would react.
They then used the phrase alleged to have raped in the article. Wishpig has absolutely no point.
it's still really offensive to me and lots of other people.
I think it's more them wanting to accuse him of being a rapist but knowing legally they can't without using the quotation marks. They're not on his side.
I don't take away from this article a sense that the person writing it is in disbelief or anything, just that they're having a bit too much regard for the dictates of a victim-blaming, unbelieving rape culture and not enough regard for how this might make people feel and contribute to attitudes that its ok to question the honesty of a rape survivor cause one man's reputation is at stake. And I realise the person who wrote the headline porbably didn't write the article/
but it is. putting in quotes has a totally different tone, for me. then putting that in the headline makes that even worse, for me. I know you guys must be reading it thinking it makes no difference cause it's saying the same thing, that it can't be reported as fact for legal reasons. But maybe we should listen to some people who this directly affects before we write copy for rape.