The Corner

The Girl Never Got to be a Woman

I’m late to this — it’s from last week – but what how could such a thing get out of a newsroom?

NEW YORK More than two days after the victim of an alleged rape in Iraq — she was later killed along with with three members of her family — was identified as a 14-year-old girl, the Associated Press and some other news organizations continued to identify her as a woman.

In a widely-published AP dispatch today from Balad, Iraq, Robert Burns reported, in discussing alleged atrocities by U.S. troops, “Among the most recent cases is the alleged rape and slaying of a young Iraqi woman and the killing of her family members in Mahmoudiyah.” At least one other AP story today used similar wording.

This mirrored the language used in several AP articles on Tuesday by Robert Reid and Juan Lozano.

Finally, later on Wednesday, the AP switched over to “girl.”

Many other newspapers or news services — such as CNN, the BBC and CBS.com — have also used “woman” while The New York Times has switched to “girl” and others, including the Los Angeles Times, and McClatchy, Scripps and Reuters stories, have used “teen” or simply given the actual age of the dead girl, Abeer Qasim Hamza al-Janabi….

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