He said/She said

This story “3 cops face probe after woman alleges harassment” appeared in the Chennai edition of The Times of India on November 23, 2012. While the headline indicates the story is about the alleged harassment of a woman, the report itself is puzzling in its treatment of the complaint. A woman filed a complaint of harassment against the cops and a businessman. The businessman in turn filed a complaint of theft against the woman. The news report of the matter, however, privileges the complaint of the businessman over that of the woman. For one, the name of the businessman is changed. The name of the woman involved is not. The report refers to the woman’s profession as an escort, as stated by the businessman. It gives a narrative and context for his complaint of theft, but the charges of the woman are relegated to the last two paragraphs and the consequences of her complaint — an inquiry of the three policemen — are dealt with in the lede. The woman’s complaint ought to have been outlined in greater detail and her privacy respected.

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