Investigative Journalism in Review: She Said

June 9, 2022 Uncategorized 6 ★★★★½

Investigative Journalism in Review: She SaidTitle: She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement
Author: Jodi Kantor, Megan Twohey
Source: Library
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads

Summary: Fantastic investigative journalism telling an important story.

As you’ll probably notice over the next month or so, I’ve decided to do a bit of a deep dive on the topic of women in media. I’ve already reviewed two books about women in film and I have a number of memoirs by female journalists in the queue. I certainly hope the whole list won’t be focused on sexual harassment. It’s depressing we live in a world where that’s even a possible way of approaching this and its not my favorite topic to read about. However, She Said is such a well known book on the topic, I had to at least consider picking it up. Then both of the books I read about women in film highlighted what a turning point Weinstein facing criminal charges was in their industry. I knew I needed to read this account by the two journalists who broke the story about Weinstein next.

This was a fantastic example of investigative journalism. Its written very precisely, with lots of quotes and granular details that make you feel like you’re in the room where the action is happening. Despite feeling professional and slightly restrained, I find this style of writing to be a highly effective way of drawing the reader into the story. I also enjoyed that this was less bleak than many stories about sexual harassment because we at least go into it knowing that the man responsible was held to account. That made it easier to relax and appreciate the hard work that Kantor, Twohey, and many other women did to expose this story.

The last third of this book continued on after the story about Weinstein was published. A lot of it focused on Christine Blasey Ford, which felt tangential to the main story, especially since the authors weren’t directly involved. I also found it significantly more depressing, given the again well-known outcome. I can forgive this digression for where it led us. It gave the authors an opportunity to talk about the way things have changed and the ways that haven’t. That transitioned nicely into a story about a group interview the authors did with many women who had been involved in both these and other high profile sexual assault or rape cases. I really appreciated hearing about how those women are doing afterwards and I thought it was only fitting that the story ended with a focus on them.

6 Responses to “Investigative Journalism in Review: She Said”

    • DoingDewey

      I’ve been slow replying to comments, so I’ve now read two more memoirs. I think the journalist I read about was from the UK and the photographer was from the US. I also have a memoir by a German Muslim reporter who worked in the Middle East queued up and two more from the US. I’m glad you asked that question! It makes me think I should keep this project going and look for more books by authors from other countries. That could add some really interesting perspectives.

    • DoingDewey

      I’d put this off for a long time for the same reason! It was obviously a bit dark because of the topic, but the fact that this was one of the cases where a powerful man was held accountable kept it from being too depressing or infuriating for me. I would recommend giving it a chance πŸ™‚

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