An interesting article in the American Journalism Review talks about the issue of why the mainstream media was so slow to respond to the allegations against Jerry Sandusky. There is a lot of interesting perspective from those critical of the way that the story was covered.
Sara Ganim of the Harrisburg Patriot Review had stories addressing the grand jury investigation and additional subpoenas in March and April.
So why did other media outlets not pick up on it? Were they really unable to verify sources that a 24 year reporter was able to confirm? Doubtful.
It seems to me that the situation had much more to do with the fact that a lot of the media reports the facts through the biased view of their already preconceived notions of what they think.
Bobby Knight or Mike Leach have something happen. Well of course, that reflects the way that they normally behave.
Coach K or Joe Paterno. Nah. We must have the story wrong.
Just like most of us, the media is typically reluctant to take down people that they admire until there is overwhelming evidence. So the details of the PSU scandal remained hidden behind closed doors long after they should have been revealed.
The conspiracy lasted much longer than necessary. In reality, the conspiracy last over a decade longer than it should have.
With the removal of Sandusky prior to the 1999 season, alarm bells should have been going off left and right for those close to the program. Removing Paterno’s trusted assistant and anticipated successor should have triggered an enormous inquiry.
But instead a decade of Sandusky’s crimes were allowed to continue.
And you know what? This story is FAR from over.
There will be much more to come.
And Sara Ganim will be the one that we owe the thanks to for making sure that this did not continue to get swept under the rug.