Press: Naming Names

A stormy new rape debate

Civility may be in retreat on other fronts, but most newspapers still routinely decline to print the names of alleged rape victims. That courtesy is seldom required by law and rarely afforded the victims of other crimes. Herman J. Obermayer, 53, editor and publisher of the Northern Virginia Sun, an evening daily that goes to 20,000 households just south of the nation's capital, thinks it is time the custom ended.

In a front-page editorial, Obermayer announced that the Sun will begin printing the names, ages and addresses of women whose rape complaints come to trial. "Protecting the accuser's...

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