The drama of Kobe Bryant and the woman who accused him of rape in a little Colorado mountain town 14 months ago has moved to new terrain. So, too, should the media discussion of rape.
In a tumultuous news year, journalists kept the nation's gaze focused on a story that seemed to have everything: privacy vs. celebrity, power, race and gender, sex, truth and falsehood, media excess and legal murkiness. Throughout the saga, there has been a great deal more heat than light emanating from Eagle, Colo. Now Bryant's accuser has taken the controversy into the more public sphere of civil court. This is the moment for responsible media to move beyond a long-unproductive -- and now meaningless -- debate over whether Bryant's accuser should be named, to take on the critical question of how such sensational stories can be covered in the public interest.