Here’s an explanation that might not satisfy everyone.
But give it a try.
WSAV reporter Alex Bozarjian was doing a live report on a road race in Savannah, Georgia on Dec. 7, when a passing runner, later identified as Thomas Callaway, a Boy Scout leader and church youth volunteer, appeared to reach out and smack her on the butt.
To be clear, the behaviour is in no way acceptable: just because you’re doing your job in a public place doesn’t mean there’s an open season on unwanted physical contact or even shouted obscenities.
As Bozarjian’s employers were quick to point out: “The conduct displayed toward Alex Bozarjian during her live coverage of Saturday’s Savannah Bridge Run was reprehensible and completely unacceptable … No one should ever be disrespected in this manner. The safety and protection of our employees is WSAV-TV’s highest priority.”
The sooner people in the public — particularly star-struck oafish males who have a lot of growing up to do — recognize that and modify their behaviour, the better for us all.
There are a host of different headlines about the case: “Runner who allegedly smacked TV reporter’s backside charged with sexual battery”, “Runner who allegedly sexually assaulted reporter has been arrested”, “Man accused of slapping reporter’s backside on air charged with sexual battery”.
And that’s where things get interesting.
Social media, where video of the situation took off internationally, has since had some interesting questions not only about Callaway’s behaviour, but about the way the news media reported the event.
To the man who smacked my butt on live TV this morning: You violated, objectified, and embarrassed me. No woman should EVER have to put up with this at work or anywhere!! Do better. https://t.co/PRLXkBY5hn
— Alex Bozarjian (@wsavalexb) December 7, 2019
Here’s a sample that explains the new issue succinctly: “Just wish they’d stop putting ‘accused’ and ‘alleged’ before his name WE HAVE IT ON VIDEO.”
So, why “alleged”? Why “accused”?
The reason is both simple and complicated; criminal charges are involved.
And that changes everything,
The western justice system is based on the presumption of innocence.
Accurately reporting on cases in that justice system involves recognizing that people accused of crimes are innocent until those crimes are proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
It sounds like splitting hairs, but it’s both arcane and necessary.
The facts are, in many ways, not in a great amount of dispute: the television reporter says she was slapped on the backside, the video shows that happening, and the man involved admits his did something he shouldn’t have done (although he maintains he touched her lower back).
But, right now, the media can’t actually report that Callaway committed a sexual assault, because it wouldn’t be accurate.
You can argue that there’s a pretty good chance that, given the available evidence so far, there’s a pretty good likelihood Callaway will plead guilty or be convicted.
But his conviction is not our job.
Sure, it’s frustrating.
But the media is not a substitute for the justice system, nor should it be.
And neither, by the way, is social media.
Media Advisory: Premier Furey to Announce Additional Measure to Address Recruitment and Retention of Physicians – News Releases – Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
The Honourable Andrew Furey, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, will announce an additional measure to address recruitment and retention of physicians today (Tuesday, August 16) at 2:15 p.m.
He will be joined by the Honourable Tom Osborne, Minister of Health and Community Services, Dr. Sohaib Al-Asaaed, Post Graduate Medical Education Associate Dean, and Dr. Mikaela Murphy, a second-year family medicine resident.
The availability will take place in Room M5M101, Faculty of Medicine, St. John’s Campus, Memorial University.
The availability will be streamed live on Facebook.
– 30 –
Office of the Premier
Health and Community Services
Media Release – August 16, 2022 – Guelph Police – Guelph Police Service
Male arrested in theft of watches
A Guelph male has been charged in connection with the theft of more than a dozen watches during a break and enter last month.
Police were called July 6 to a business in the area of Silvercreek Parkway North and Woodlawn Road West. An employee had arrived to work to find a rear window smashed. Approximately 12 to 15 watches each valued at $150 were stolen.
A suspect was identified through surveillance video and arrested Sunday morning. A 66-year-old Guelph male is charged with break and enter. He will appear in a Guelph court September 23, 2022.
Arrest made following assault
A Guelph male faces assault and weapons charges after another male was attacked in the parking lot of a south-end business.
On July 9 two males known to each other were involved in a verbal altercation in a parking lot on Stone Road West. During the altercation one of the males was struck twice in the head with an object believed to be a flashlight. This caused a laceration which required stitches.
A suspect was identified and on Monday turned himself in to the Guelph Police Service. A 26-year-old Guelph male is charged with assault with a weapon, possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose and failing to comply with probation. He will appear in bail court Wednesday.
Gassing up stolen car leads to charges
A Cambridge male who pumped gas into a stolen car in Guelph has been arrested.
On June 2, a male attended a gas station on Speedvale Avenue West driving a stolen Kia SUV. He pumped more than $49 in gas and attempted to pay using several prepaid credit cards, but was only able to cover $7.28 of the cost. The male said he would get another credit card from the vehicle but instead sped away without paying the remaining amount.
The male was identified via surveillance video and arrested Monday.
A 37-year-old Cambridge male is charged with possessing stolen property over $5,000, theft under $5,000, occupying a stolen motor vehicle and driving while suspended. He will appear in bail court Tuesday.
Total calls for service in the last 24 hours – 206
Media are invited to attend the Mentor-Apprentice Program workshop in Yellowknife on August 17 – Government of Northwest Territories
The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is hosting a training workshop for Mentor-Apprentice Program (MAP) participants in Yellowknife. Media are invited to attend the last workshop taking place in the Yellowknife area, where they can experience the language program firsthand and talk to MAP participants and organizers with the Indigenous Languages and Education Secretariat.
The session will take place:
Yellowknife – Dene Kedǝ, Dëne Sųłıné, Dene Zhatıé and Tłı̨chǫ languages
Location: Aurora Tours.net /Aurora Teepee Lodge (Ingraham Trail – KM 12.4)
Date: August 17, 2022
Time: 10:15 -11:45 am
To attend one of the sessions, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. High-resolution photos will be provided upon request for media use.
MAP is a way of learning a language where a fluent speaker of the language (a Mentor) teaches a language learner (an Apprentice) through immersion. The goal of the program is to have Apprentices improve their ability to understand and speak their language and help with the revitalization of Indigenous languages in the Northwest Territories.
For media requests, please contact:
Public Affairs and Communications
Department of Education, Culture and Employment
Government of the Northwest Territories
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