|Cristina Curcelli, 17, Samuel Liu, 18, and|
Sabrina Chen, journalists with the Saratoga
High School Falcon newspaper.
When the teen’s sexual assault case first broke in 2012, 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 student journalists at Saratoga High’s Falcon newspaper decided to investigate those claims.
They interviewed Audrey’s friends on the condition of anonymity and found that only 10 people had seen the pictures and that they were never posted on social media.
The staff worked around the clock through that first weekend and into spring break, posting stories online with headlines saying "only 10 students" saw the photos, and "Pott case twisted to fit anti-cyberbullying agenda."
SPJ honored the teenage reporters for both their reporting and for protecting their sources by defying a court subpoena from a lawyer in the case by invoking California’s Shield Law. (Photo credit: Karl Mondon, Bay Area News Group)