When Journalism is Deadly

Reporting on issues of personal sexuality is always a delicate affair, but for Tampa Bay Times reporter Leonora LaPeter Anton, the consequences of doing so may have been tragic. Anton’s hope to shed light on Gretchen Molannen’s genital arousal disorder were at the very least severely complicated when Molannen committed suicide in the weeks following the story’s publication.

In another Poynter piece, journalist Dan Stockman gives his personal account of how one of his sources killed himself as a possible result of his investigative reporting.

While Stockman’s story had a different focus than Anton’s, exposing a community leader for a series of non-sexual abuses, it emphasizes the incredible, and sometimes dangerous power that the media has. As Amanda Hess points out in her write up of the Anton story, it is critical moving forward that journalists covering sensitive topics, even if they choose to print a risky story, at least make their sources aware of the potential outcomes.

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