How do you shut down online harassment? Should you consider using a sexual consent app? And can going public with a #MeToo story have a downside?
A multimedia reporting project launched Monday by American University journalism students explores these topics and others related to millennials and the #MeToo movement. In collaboration with NBCWashington.com, students devoted months to reporting and editing stories for a site they built called The New Boundaries.
Here's some of the ground they covered:
- A New York woman who published an essay in 2016 about being raped and then was the target of online criticism said she had second thoughts about having come forward with her story. When she wrote about her experience again this fall, as the #MeToo movement ramped up, she received more support.
- A crisis management consultant revealed what she tells celebrities during scandals, and how she's working with corporations to eliminate sexual harassment.
- A news game walks players through the steps involved in filing a Title IX complaint as a college student. The game monitors the player's energy level. "Drop the case -- you're already too drained," one response option says.
- A D.C. organization trains bar and restaurant workers to intervene when customers harass or abuse customers or employees. A bartender in Chinatown said she thinks #MeToo has made female bartenders speak up more often for themselves and others.
- A number of sexual consent apps are now available. The New Boundaries looked at how they work and whether they could do more harm than good.
Working as if they were in a real newsroom, the students were part of AU's Writing and Editing for Convergent Media class, taught by Amy Eisman. NBC Washington previously collaborated with the class on projects covering mental health and free speech on campus.