‘On the Media’: Balancing advocacy and accuracy

By — June 2, 2012

After Sen. Joseph Lieberman published this Washington Post op-ed advocating for the U.S. to step up its efforts to topple the Syrian regime last month, Jackie Blachman-Forshay and I wrote a response. We were curious what sources Lieberman had to back up a particular claim in his piece: that among the human rights abused being perpetrated by the regime is “the widespread and deliberate use of rape and other sexual violence as weapons of war.”  

As people who are putting together a map that plots instances of sexualized violence in Syria, we believe that rape is happening there. But trying to figure out exactly the extent of what's going on in Syria is remarkably hard to do at this time. I spoke with Brooke Gladstone at NPR’s “On the Media” about this, the difficulty of verifying claims of rape in a war zone, and why I almost didn’t publish our piece. 

Click below for the “On the Media” segment, and here to read the story we wrote.