“An Unbelievable Story of Rape” Write-Up

By Shayna Waltower

This piece was published on ProPublica as a part of The Marshall Project.

As I was researching possible articles to use for this assignment, I came across this story. I was immediately captivated by the theme-setting epigraph, which compelled me to read further into at least a couple of paragraphs. The first section of the story tells of a girl whose middle name is “Marie.” After reading this first part of the story, I knew that I had to continue.

Header image, “An Unbelievable Story of Rape”

I had a feeling that this would be an informative journalistic read. The first part of the piece introduced the topic, presented numerical data to put the story into perspective and included a creative narration in the description of the subject’s situation.

In its simplest form, journalism is the process and resulting works of reporting news. This piece contains elements required for a sound and ethical journalistic piece. However, it goes beyond this simple definition in that it reports the facts while drawing its readers to continue reading the story with its personal, creative style. It has the nature of a crime novel, with vivid descriptions of suspects and surrounding areas. It tells the story of one woman, yet it sheds light on a much broader topic and issue. Using statistical data and a host of sources, this piece holds a firm foundation in upholding the requirements for “good journalism.”

It was a small, single-story home with gray siding half a block from a gas station, an auto body shop and a carniceria in a beat-down neighborhood. A low chain-link fence surrounded it. Tall, winter-bare trees towered above the roof.

As I read this piece, I was captivated by the style of the story and the facts of the story itself. It merged qualities of factual reporting with the nature of a crime story. It gave me a peak into the deep struggles that many women of both reported and unreported rape cases often experience. This is definitely a story that I have bookmarked to read again.

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