Digging Deep And Finding The Real Story

The news is in and it's official --- University of Missouri tailback Derrick Washington's arraignment has been set for Sept. 23 after he was charged with deviate sexual assault, a class C felony.

But the news isn't exactly... "new."

Last week the Columbia Missourian posted the story after Missouri head coach Coach Gary Pinkel refused to speak about why he indefinitely suspended Washington. All other news outlets reported he had suspended Washington, but didn't give a reason as to why. The Missourian, however, obtained court documents (exercising their rights!) and figured out why.

From word of mouth, I heard another local news outlet was upset with the Missourian for posting the story. They called the reporting "irresponsible." But what part of doing research and informing the public is irresponsible?

I do agree with Coach Gary Pinkel's decision to protect his players and not tell the press why he indefinitely suspended Washington. But Washington is a public figure, and if you've done your digging and your research, and you are 110 percent sure your facts are right then I say go for it.

Isn't it our responsibility as journalists to not just take no as an answer? Washington is a pretty big player for the Tigers and I'm sure the public would want to know what could cause an indefinite suspension. He was the one who knowingly took on the role as a public figure.

So congrats to the Missourian for doing their research and for all those other outlets calling it "irresponsible reporting"... it isn't irresponsible until the facts are wrong.

As for Washington, if he did do it he should face the consequences. If not, I hope he is able to clear the charges and move on with his life.


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