When Journalism Gets Personal

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Last week, Hearst Connecticut Media began running a wide ranging investigative series entitled, At Risk: Boys & Girls Club and Sexual Abuse. Hearst’s team of reporters examined thousands of documents from civil and criminal cases alleging sexual abuse by staff, volunteers or members of Boys & Girls Clubs across the country. Hearst’s investigation was led by Hannah Dellinger, a Hearst Journalism Fellow who was working for the Greenwich Time. Dellinger’s thoughtful, thorough articles, along with those of her fellow reporters shed a glaring spotlight on sexual abuse and the toll it takes on the victims.

Dellinger’s reporting went far beyond that spotlight, though, in a personal, heartbreaking yet hopeful article that she wrote about confronting her own past sexual abuse during the course of her research for this series. Dellinger’s powerful piece describes how her investigation brought her to the same California courthouse where as a young girl she had to testify about the time she was sexually assaulted by an adult during a school activity and the repercussions it has had on her life since.

We applaud Hannah Dellinger for bravely giving us a rare glimpse into the private life of a journalist, so that she could educate her readers on the lasting impacts on victims, not only of the sexual abuse but also of the reactions of adults and others in the aftermath. Earlier this month, Hannah moved on from the Greenwich Time to the Houston Chronicle. We are confident that her excellent reporting will continue to bring change and awareness to this issue.