Saratoga Teen’s Photos Going ‘Viral’ Before Her Suicide Debunked By Student Journalists

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Audrie Pott (Audrie Pott Foundation)

Audrie Pott (Audrie Pott Foundation)

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KCBS's Matt Bigler started as a reporter/anchor in 2004, and is now...
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SARATOGA (KCBS) — Journalists with Saratoga High School’s newspaper who questioned reports that semi-nude photos of teen Audrie Pott had gone ‘viral’ before her suicide received a Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) award for courageous reporting.

When the teen’s sexual assault case first broke in 2012, both local and national media reported that photos of the half-naked, 15-year-old girl had been posted on Facebook, which contributed to her suicide.

The young journalists with the Saratoga High School Falcon newspaper refuted the notion that the photos of the teen “went viral” and decided to investigate those claims. After they interviewed Audrey’s friends on the condition of anonymity, they had reported that only 10 people had seen the photos and that they were never posted on social media.

Prosecutors later revealed that there was no evidence that the photos had in fact gone viral.

The SPJ has honored the teenage reporters both for their reporting and protecting their sources by defying a court subpoena.

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