Our cover story last week was about Raleigh’s Indigenous land-acknowledgement ceremony at Dix Park, and one reader said it was the best story she’d read in months. Another article, about UNC releasing records on sexual-assault cases, drew criticism for our framing.

“While reading about the ceremony at Dix park, I thought of ceremonies I’d witnessed from a Navajo tribe back in Salt Lake City, Utah where I moved from,” writes JESSICA TAYLOR. “This is my third summer here in the triangle.  I’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to farm some land in Wake Forest this year and have been connecting deeply to it.  I love this land of NC.  I love learning the lost stories and native people’s history.  I connect most to the unseen energies and stories of the peoples through being in nature.  So thank you again for bringing that story to the news.”

After we wrote about UNC-Chapel Hill handing over its sexual-assault case records to The Daily Tar Heel and other news outlets, another reader explained how this wasn’t good news and objected to our headline framing it as such.

“Awful news for survivors of sexual assault,” DAVID HALLEN wrote on Facebook. “The stories released in the follow-up to this decision will inevitably lead to the exposure of survivor identities, rob survivors of the ability to share their own stories how they see fit, and lower the already low rate of reporting (confidentiality is key in encouraging reporting of sexual assault and misconduct on campus. One of the many reason why many survivors favor reporting to universities over local PD, though both are fairly atrocious in their treatment of survivors).

“A group of Victims Rights Organizations filed an Amicus Brief supporting the University’s decision to ‘keep private things private.’ This brief spells out how survivors will be directly harmed by this forced disclosure. Organizations that signed onto the brief: Victim Rights Law Center, North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault, National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, National Network to End Domestic Violence, and the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

“Your headline celebrating the fact that UNC is ‘finally’ releasing records is concerning at best … an insult to survivors at worst. Please consider reading the amicus brief on behalf of Victims Rights Organizations and adjusting your reporting accordingly.”

Comment on this story at backtalk@indyweek.com

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