No fix required: The Daily Telegraph gets it right

So here’s a thing. The Daily Telegraph reported on Barry Bennell’s conviction on 43 charges of sexually abusing children.

The headline put him at the front of the sentence, made no mention of career fame or success, correctly identified his crimes as abuse and rape, and implicitly praised victims for “speaking out”. I might make a minor quibble about calling it “sexual abuse” rather than “sex abuse” but other than that, it’s pretty much exactly the headline you’d want on this story.

The article itself described the abuse accurately without being salacious and gave plenty of space to the victim’s experiences in their own words. It described the grooming process as part of the crime and put the blame for all of it exactly where it belongs: with the perpetrator. There was not even the slightest touch of “but he was such a nice guy” commentary, no lauding him as a football hero and it finished by giving context of ongoing abuse allegations in British soccer.

In an ideal world this kind of reporting would never need to exist, but while these crimes are still occurring this is exactly how they should be reported.

Hopefully this is a sign of change and we’ll see this kind of reporting much more often, even when the victims are not men and boys.

FixedIt is an ongoing project to push back against the media’s constant erasure of violent men and blaming of innocent victims. If you would like to help fund it – even $5 a month makes a big difference – please consider becoming a Patron


1800 RESPECT
Sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling and support.
24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 
Ph: 1800 737 732
www.1800respect.org.au 

Suicide Call Back Service
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Ph: 1300 659 467
www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au

Kids Helpline
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Phone: 1800 55 1800
www.kidshelp.com.au

MensLine Australia
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Phone: 1300 78 99 78
www.mensline.org.au

Child Wise National Abuse Helpline
Mon-Fri: 9 am – 5 pm
Ph: 1800 99 10 99