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University of Wisconsin–Madison
School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Learning from Grantland’s Dr. V story: When reporting for a niche loses context in the grips of a network effect

Much has already been written about the ethical questions raised in the wake of Grantland’s January 15th story by Caleb Hannan entitled Dr. V’s Magical Putter.  The article itself has been updated to include a letter from Grantland’s editor as well as a guest opinion “detailing the problems with this piece as they relate to transgender issues”, both linked at the ropy of the story.

Writing for Gigaom, Matthew Ingram takes a forensic look at how the story — and the story of the story — unfolded, as well as what lessons may be learned form it.

Within a matter of hours after it was published and tweeted by its author, the Vanderbilt story was being posted and criticized by hundreds, if not thousands, of outraged readers — including many from the transgender community — who found Hannan’s treatment of Vanderbilt’s sexuality callous and offensive, and blamed him for what they saw as his role in her death.

Read Ingram’s entire piece here.

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