" Craigslist founder Craig Newmark
Craigslist was under fire for the racy ads in its "Adult Services" section, which critics claimed weren't properly screened to block ads from underage girls and victims of sex trafficking. Lyon wanted to know: What was the site doing to protect those girls? The questions left Newmark "speechless," as Lyon later boasted
on her personal website.
Indeed, within weeks, Craigslist shut down its adult section. Then, Lyon -- who actually grew up in St. Louis -- reported
that a different site was "filling the vacuum": Backpage.com
, which is owned by Riverfront Times
' parent company, Village Voice Media
The papers of Village Voice Media recently launched an investigative series, "The Truth About Sex Trafficking
." The first installment, last week, was "an exposé on the shoddy math that fuels the outrage at underage sex trafficking."
This week, Village Voice
Editor Tony Ortega
on the carpet for, among other things, misrepresenting Backpage's
response to her questions and raising money for her sources.
Read Ortega's column here
As for Lyon's local roots: She graduated from Parkway Central High School
in 2001, then studied journalism at Mizzou
Turns out she's actually been reporting on sex-related crimes since
college: She won awards at Mizzou for "Battered Justice," a three-part
series on the Missouri judicial system's treatment of abused women.
Lyon's series was one part of a bigger, statewide effort
to get clemency for women who had murdered abusive husbands, says Colleen Coble
of the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
series, according to Coble, was just one among several reports on the
issue at the time, but "certainly was a messenger to many people who
were unaware of these women's lives and how they were treated through
The rest of Lyon's bio, which involves stints in Arizona, Guatemala and Florida, can be found here
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