Monday, January 5, 2015

Whose Story Is It?

As more and more of the Cosby story comes out, I find myself asking whose story is this?

While a few of the women have told a portion of their stories in their own words on Dr. Phil, most of the time we read their words in the context of a news story about Bill Cosby. So whose story is it? Is it a story about Bill Cosby and his fall from grace, or is it the story of the woman who is telling the story, or is it the story of the reporter and editor who edit and structure each woman’s words into a compelling narrative that will sell a publication, or get people to click on a link?

Headlines matter

I learned the hard way recently that the headline often determines the story. If it reads, Abuse Charges Against Bill Cosby, notice that Cosby is front and center and the charges come from an anonymous source. It is a story about what is happening to Cosby not the story of the woman charging him of abuse. If it reads, Bill Cosby Facing Accusations, again it is a story about Cosby and the ramifications, for him, of those accusations. If it reads, Another Cosby Victim, both Cosby and the woman are in the headline, but the woman is lumped together with others and it feels that she has jumped on a bandwagon rather than having a story to tell. Only one woman, Janice Dickinson, was famous enough in her own right to merit a headline. Yes, Cosby is the famous one, but does a woman have to go missing to make headlines and put her name before the public?