Janay Rice speaks out
On Friday, former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice won his appeal. A judge ruled the NFL’s indefinite suspension against him be vacated. In the wake of this news, ESPN released an essay written by Rice’s wife, Janay, who became a public figure after a video of an altercation between the two was leaked to the media. ESPN said no questions were off limits but final control over the essay and its publication was left up to Janay. Missouri School of Journalism professors Earnest Perry, Mike McKean and Amy Simons discuss the issue.
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ESPN reporter Jemele Hill defended the piece on CNN's Reliable Sources. She said she understood the criticism from both the public and other media outlets, but that she never gave full control of the story to Janay Rice.
"I know that people see that language and final approval and they envision this process of [Janay] shooting down things not to be in there but in no way was this ever dictatorship. It was fully a collaboration."
Hill said Janay wanted to be "as transparent as possible" for this story.
Professor Mike McKean said ESPN did a good job of being transparent as well. However, he said there are still some unanswered questions about this interview.
"There's only one question that ESPN hasn't answered to anybody's satisfaction: was there any content, any question that was asked that Janay Rice said, 'No, you can't print the answer to that'? We don't know."
Professor Earnest Perry said Janay might have thought she could better control the story if she controlled the final publishing. But Perry said this editorial control is a lot less powerful than most people think.
"Especially if you go back and you look at the whole piece in which Jemele Hill is explaining what happened, what you see is that she went in and educated them about, 'Here's what's going to happen: we can do it this way and you can have somewhat of a control, but this is a collaboration.'"