Editorial: Names of victims

A recent story about crime on campus prompted Oracle staff to develop a policy dealing with the names of victims involved in sex crimes, domestic violence, scams, or other crimes that tend to humiliate or degrade the victims. The Oracle staff believes that these victims deserve protection and privacy. The the policy is as follows:

Policy: 1 Crime victims names and addresses adopted Nov. 5, 2019

The Oracle generally publishes the names of crime victims as an integral element of news stories.

Stories involving sex crimes, domestic violence, scams or other crimes that tend to humiliate or degrade the victim shall be scrutinized carefully before publication. Such stories shall not include the name or the victim or the victim’s exact address unless the victim agrees to be identified, the victim seeks publicity to serve as an example for others or other overriding circumstances as deemed by a majority vote of the editorial board.

Names will not be used if identification is likely to endanger the life or health of the victim. Any request by police, a victim or representative of the victim to withhold the name from a news story for reasons of health or safety should be given great weight.

If the name of the victim is omitted from the story, only the most general identifying information may be used.

The Oracle hopes to protect victims of this type of crime by leaving their names out of stories. This will allow the Oracle to protect the victims while still portraying valuable, accurate news.