LAT's naming of Rihanna scrutinized

The Huffington Post says the L.A. Times was the first major media outlet to identify Rihanna as the victim of Sunday's early morning domestic violence, "despite the LAPD's refusal to confirm her identity, citing state laws meant to protect abuse victims' privacy." More from the HuffPost's Danny Shea:

The story's author, LAT reporter Andrew Blankstein, told me by phone Monday that the public nature of the case made it "fair game" to report her name.

"The Times has a blanket policy when it comes to not naming victims of sexual assault," he said. "There isn't a set policy when it comes to physical assault or a criminal threat. In that case, there's a decision internally and on a case-by-case basis of whether to name somebody. In this case, obviously there was a discussion among the editors about this. The nature of this case against the backdrop of the Grammy's, the delay in changing things, the explanations put out by both camps the decision was made that this was fair game."

Blankstein's comments were reiterated by the newspaper's Readers' Rep, Jamie Gold.

"The Times chooses to follow an established, non-binding practice on sexual assault victims in which The Times does not identify them by name," she said in an e-mail. "But that is for sexual assault, which is not the case here."

Tonight's story in the Times leads with Rihanna cooperating with police investigating the case.

More by Kevin Roderick:
Standing up to Harvey Weinstein
The Media
LA Times gets a top editor with nothing but questions
LA Observed Notes: Harvey Weinstein stripped bare
LA Observed Notes: Photos of the homeless, photos that found homes
Recent Police stories on LA Observed:
LA Times hires new sheriff's beat reporter
Steven Owen, Los Angeles Sheriff's sergeant, 53
Chief Charlie Beck
Silver Lake residents 'had faith in DWP's promises'
Code 7 in Sherman Oaks: A little bit of history
Feds throw more charges at ex-Sheriff Baca
Ex-sheriff Baca rolls the dice on a trial
TV meteorologist Josh Rubenstein leaving for the LAPD
Previous story: Snow in Sylmar

Next story: Morning Buzz: Tuesday 2.10.09


LA Observed on Twitter