Freed Cleveland Women Trapped by Media, Some Offering Money


Gina DeJesus, Amanda Berry, and Michelle Knight, freed last week after a decade of being held against their will in Cleveland, now are imprisoned by the media, says Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Mark Naymik. James Wooley, a former federal prosecutor speaking for them, asked for time space, and privacy. That’s the message delivered Sunday by a former federal prosecutor speaking for the three victims. Says Naymik: “It’s hard to argue with him, especially if reports are true that a news helicopter hovered above DeJesus’ home to catch a glimpse of her getting some fresh air.”

Public relations consultant Bruce Hennes, working with Wolley, says media outlets have offered money for the women’s stories. He hopes news outlets will reconsider the traditional approach of reporting such stories out of respect for the women. He said doing so will take “courage” by some outlets. “The media has a role to play,” he said. “Every reporter that has a piece of this has to decide what his or her role will be.” DeJesus, Berry. and Knight may decide to tell their story, even perhaps to media outlets who pay for exclusives, says Naymik, adding, “Doing so has to be on their terms, not their captors’.”

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