Should the Ray Rice video have been aired publicly?
By Tracy Everbach
By now, many of us have seen the video of Ray Rice punching his wife, Janay, in the face and dragging her unconscious body out of an elevator.
The story of the NFL player’s suspension from the league for the act has once again ignited discussion of the all-too-common societal problem of domestic violence. Rice avoided jail time in the assault by pleading guilty to a misdemeanor and entering a probation program that required anger-management counseling.
In the journalism world, the debate also spurred ethical discussions. Poynter’s Roy Peter Clark argued that seeing the video is important to the national conversation on domestic abuse and on the NFL’s reaction to it.
In answer to his post , Dr. Meredith Clark, an assistant professor of the Mayborn School of Journalism at the University of North Texas, countered that publishing and broadcasting the video violates ethical standards. She points to disconnect between the white, male dominated media industry and the voices of women of color.
“Objectifying Janay Rice and recasting her experiences to serve the interests of elite white men who make the decision to publish and repost the video, to paraphrase Collins, means subordinating a black woman’s humanity in the name of journalism,” Meredith Clark wrote.
What are your thoughts? Does airing such a video spark conversation that can lead to change? Or is it further exploiting an already-victimized woman?
We welcome your comments.