ESPN Under Fire Over Handling of Erin Andrews Video, Ben Roethlisberger Charges
When a Nevada woman named Andrea McNulty filed a civil suit accusing the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback of sexually assaulting her in the hotel where she worked last summer, ESPN did not report it on TV or on its website.
Its reasoning: "A policy of not running stories based on civil suits without a criminal investigation or without conducting its own reporting."
ESPN claimed to be taking the high road by not reporting the lawsuit, but as it pertained to Ben Roethlisberger, many wondered if ESPN was refusing to only to stay in good standing with one of the country's most high-profile athletes.
Finally, three days after the story broke, ESPN reported it, saying it was just waiting for either Roethlisberger or law enforcement to make a statement.
Any news organization has the right to set standards by which it will report a story, of course. But the New York Times reported it, and given that it involved a sports figure, it's a little odd that the "Worldwide Leader in Sports" did not.
If nothing else, ESPN's impartiality and role in creating more news than it reports is a subject being hotly debated in journalism circles.