John Besh restaurants fostered culture of sexual harassment, 25 women say

This article was interesting and informative read. The lead, somewhat of a narrative lead with a bit of hard news incorporated, gives a glimpse into the story that unfolds to be claim upon claim of inappropriate behavior in Besh Restaurant Group restaurants behind the scenes.

Although I found it a bit confusing that the lead and second paragraph after that referred to a woman who was not the one who had filed the claim that was pictured above, I was about to sort out that confusion without much difficulty. I might have changed the juxtaposition of the photo and the information at the top of the article so they related, but this did not influence much of my reading experience.

As a reader, I am automatically compelled when a story starts off with such an attention-grabbing subject matter as wide-spread sexual harassment, regardless of how the writer phrases the lead to introduce the story. This lead is especially provocative because it is very matter-of-fact and straight forward about the victim’s disgust with her experiences.

The nut graph of this piece can be found in the third paragraph, where it transitions from talking strictly about the first woman mentioned in the earlier paragraphs to uncovering that she is one of at least 25 women with similar experiences.

The nature of a story with so many people implicated, including victims, witnesses and accused perpetrators, lends itself to citing many sources. The writer does so rather seamlessly, which is noteworthy because the names and identities could have easily blended together in confusion.

At times, the article seemed lengthy and repetitive with sources echoing each other’s experiences, but this is not necessarily a bad thing in this case because the repetition of similar claims speaks to the point of the article and strengthens the claim.

I appreciated the inclusion of the full statements from Besh Restaurant Group and John Besh himself. Often times, statements like this are quoted, but the full statement seems to be an elusive letter floating around, only available to certain people. This gives the reader the chance to read other sources of information at their leisure if they are interested, but does not slow down the article’s flow.

The sources of this article are a varied group of people who offer many different perspectives. The two men who have been accused of creating a toxic environment are given their fair share of talking in the article, but the writer also balances that with several different sources from the opposite side of the accusers. I imagine it can be difficult to strike this balance between the two very opposing sides and the writer does so very well.

In addition, there are some expert sources from places completely unrelated to the specific instance. They are able to provide what feels like a more objective approach to a subject matter that can be very polarizing for opinionated people who are closer to the story.

The Besh Restaurant Group gets a chance to defend itself from a public relations perspective and general data about sexual harassment in the restaurant industry is provided to further balance the scale.

A visual representation of the different dates and incidents included in the article would have been a helpful way to see it all easily come together in the end. For example, a timeline of dates when different employees claim to have been harassed and dates of employees’ resignations would be an aesthetically pleasing way of seeing how the events all coincide. However, with so many details, claims, counterclaims and opinions, this story could have easily been far more confusing than it was.

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