Commentary urges press to name names

In an essay reprinted by the Christian Science Monitor, Geneva Overholser argues that the decision to shield the name of rape victims does more harm than good:

Newspapers are not -- as they once were -- the gatekeepers of such information. The culture has changed. Details about Kobe Bryant's accuser are being bandied about by shock jocks and on the Net netherworld. Mainstream media stick to an outdated policy, which has turned into a conceit. This empty posturing produces stories such as the one by the Orange County Register, raising questions about the mental stability of the accuser in the Bryant case -- and then intoning: "The Register is not identifying the woman because of the sensitive nature of the case." The people who know the woman already know she's the one involved in this case. Meanwhile, much of the nation hears or reads irresponsible charges against her.

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