Covering Child Sex Abuse: Lessons from the Sandusky Story

Course Overview

Covering Child Sex Abuse: Lessons from the Sandusky Story
Seminar Snapshot
Thanks to the support of our sponsor, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, we are able to offer this $9.95 Seminar Snapshot for free.
Time Estimate:
About an hour and twenty minutes

About Seminar Snapshots

A Seminar Snapshot features video highlights that capture the key learning of a seminar presentation.

Sara Ganim was just following up on a tip from a source. Months later, she broke the first story about the Jerry Sandusky scandal, the former Penn State University assistant football coach convicted of sexually abusing children.

Ganim, a reporter for The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., explains in this Seminar Snapshot how previous crime stories helped her piece together the complex Sandusky investigation. Learn how she went beyond court documents, legal jargon and news releases to uncover and verify information. Understand the importance of consulting with your news organization's lawyers, conducting in-person interviews with your sources and hunting down documents.

This Seminar Snapshot contains edited video highlights from a presentation at The Poynter Institute during "Covering Child Sex Abuse," a Specialized Reporting Institute workshop on July 9-10, 2012. Stephen Buckley, Poynter's dean of faculty, interviews Sara Ganim for this presentation.

What Will I Learn:
  • What documents to look for and how to find them
  • How to engage with your sources and talk to the victims
  • How she continued to report the Sandusky scandal throughout the investigation and trial
  • The value of working with the news organization's lawyers
  • Why child sex abuse stories are appearing more and more in the news

Sara Ganim

Sara Ganim, who has been a newspaper reporter since she was 15, covers crime for the Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., where she broke the Penn State/Jerry Sandusky story.

Training Partner:

Robert R. McCormick Foundation

The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to fostering communities of educated, informed and engaged citizens. Through philanthropic programs, Cantigny Park and museums, the foundation helps develop citizen leaders and works to make life better in our communities. The foundation was established as a charitable trust in 1955, upon the death of Col. Robert R. McCormick, the longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. The foundation is one of the nation's largest foundations, with more than $1 billion in assets.