Why did the Washington Post ban a sexual assault survivor from reporting on rape? | Moira Donegan

Why did the Washington Post ban a sexual assault survivor from reporting on rape? | Moira Donegan

The Guardian

.

.
.
.

The newspaper wouldn’t let Felicia Sonmez cover stories about sexual misconduct. That policy was to the Post’s detriment

Felicia Sonmez had to flee her home. In early 2020, after the death of the basketball player Kobe Bryant, Sonmez, a longtime breaking news reporter at the Washington Post, tweeted a link to a Daily Beast story about the 2003 rape allegation against Bryant. The tweet had no commentary and no editorializing by Sonmez, and yet on the day it appeared online, it was a lonely acknowledgment of Bryant’s compromised legacy amid a sea of uncritical praise for the dead athlete. In response, the reporter received a deluge of abuse from Bryant’s fans. They were angry at what they saw as Sonmez besmirching Bryant’s memory by acknowledging the accusation that he had been sexually violent towards a Colorado woman; they were willing to avenge this disrespect, or so they claimed, with more violence against women. The name-calling escalated into threats, and some of those threats seemed credible. Her home address was published online. For her own safety, Sonmez went briefly into hiding.

Related: The Washington Post silenced one of its reporters. It now owes her an apology | Arwa Mahdawi

Continue reading…