Raliance media summit: Exceptional journalism to end sexual violence

By Julie Patrick

On May 9, 2017, journalists and sexual assault experts came to the Kaiser Family Foundation in Washington, D.C. to celebrate ground-breaking media coverage on sexual violence. The event was made possible by Raliance in partnership with The Poynter Institute for Media Studies and through sponsorship by the NFL and the Glover Park Group. The goal of the day was to discuss ways to move the needle on how the public understands sexual violence.

Journalists and advocates at the Raliance media summit

In her opening remarks, Poynter’s Kelly McBride noted current journalism on sexual violence is both strong and weak. New voices emerging help strengthen the national dialogue; local reporting, however, has not kept pace with this robust national conversation. Local communities are generally less likely to cover sexual violence. There are always exceptions to this, which is why The RALLYs Awards honored these examples of local, state, and national coverage.

Amanda Hess delivering the keynote

In her keynote address, New York Times David Carr Fellow Amanda Hess discussed how better reporting illuminates real life as well as sexual violence experiences. She emphasized listening to victims, all kinds of victims, and not simply for their most sensational details.

“What would journalism look like if it accurately reflected the whole scope of sexual violence? We would see more working-class victims, elderly victims, some male victims, too. We would read stories about abuse committed not just by strangers or sadistic frat boys but by family members and committed partners, not just in elite colleges but in detention facilities.”
- Amanda Hess

Raliance remains committed to changing the conversation about sexual violence by working closely with the news media and promoting new voices to help shape this national dialogue on sexual violence and solutions. Now more than ever, sexual assault experts must work more closely with the news media and vice versa.

Learn more about the media summit and the winners of The RALLYs at bit.ly/RALLYs

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