----- Original Message -----

Sent: Friday, November 15, 2002 4:57 PM
Subject: Re: Spotlight Coverage of Female Victims

> Dear Susan --
I have read your oped, and supporting source list, and talked to members
of the Spotlight team. Here's what I found:
The team has for some time had the "female victims'' story on its rather
long "to do" list. Some preliminary work has been done on the piece, and
if further evidence can be found and confirmed, the team will write the
piece.  There is no intention to deny female victims representation, or a
voice, in the paper.
I also found that past stories have not infrequently referred to female
victims. Perhaps they escaped your notice; I think the Boston.com data
base differs from, and is smaller than, the Globe library's official
archives, so unless you have checked both some stories might not have popped up.
So why, I hear you asking, has the Spotlight Team not focused on the story
earlier? Members give two reasons, and both seem reasonable to me: the
first is that while a few female victims have come forward, the number has
been relatively few, with less than compelling evidence overall.

Meanwhile, the overwhelming majority of provable victims are men, so the story has --as any good journalistic pursuit would -- followed that path.  Why not to
both? That brings us to the second reason: a four-person team can do only
so much. They have been out flat, covering the breaking news as well as
 trying to advance the story.
Such are my findings. In my view, your oped puts forth an inaccurate
representation of Spotlight motive. Given that, I can not advocate on its
behalf. I realize this is not what you wanted to hear, but it represents my
honest view.
Chris Chinlund
Globe Ombud