This morning I picked up the Collegian as usual, scanned the front page as usual and then started to recycle the paper as usual.
However, something caught my eye and caused me to hesitate. I re-read the front page and saw a headline I had seen so many times that it simply didn’t register as important. The headline read “Rape suspect known to female victim.” I had fallen into the apathy trap of having seen so many similar write-ups that this one simply didn’t register as important. My bad.
Not very many years ago, the headline would have read something like “Man Accused of Rape, Faces Death Penalty.” That headline would get attention. Now, we see headlines like this morning’s so often that they solicit almost no response.
What is more, I doubt many people even know what the penalty for rape is today. I think you would be doing your readers a service if you were to do a feature that provides insight into what a rape is, what happens once one is reported, and what the possible outcomes/punishments may be.
You will never know for sure, but you might prevent another such headline in the Collegian. Ho hum, generic reports like this one do little to help prevent crimes because they tell us nothing, in-your-face knowledge would do more.