Home Page

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Tragedy and Reporting It. Ethics, Anyone?

It's been a sad week, eh? I've watched countless news reports, specials and the like. There are droves of reporters covering the tragedy in the gulf states. I think news stories like this need to be reported...but what exactly are they doing to help? They're all clean, with generators for electricity, probably fresh water and food... and they're interviewing those who have lost everything. I saw a story last night where they were interviewing people who had gotten out of the flooded areas of New Orleans and were trying to walk their way to Texas. Did they give anyone a lift? NO. I understand they can't help everyone. But if you get your jackpot news story with your interview, can't you help that person/family? Isn't it the least you could do? Or get out there and hand out some water and food to those you come across. Do something useful!

7 comments:

Fred said...

I read today where these reporters are helicoptered in and out, so many of them don't have to experience the lousy conditions.

Tough job, eh?

Alana Asby Roberts said...

I've listened to enough talk radio to have heard discussions about journalistic ethics. Most jornalists consider it unethical (can ya beat that?) to help someone they're interviewing. Supposedly it detracts from the whole "impartial, fair and balanced" thing to get involved with a situation you're just supposed to be talking about. I think it's incredible how ethics can get twisted around like that.

I heard a news-story once in which a journalist in some third-world country was interviewing someone so bad off, he couldn't help himself and gave them some valuable aid. Back in the States, other journalists were appalled. I think there was talk of firing him.

New White Keds said...

As I was watching some of the reports, I too was wondering how they, the reporters could face these people who had lost EVERYTHING while they are in clean clothes with food in their bellies. But then again, how do you choose which poor soul to help? Can you help any? Can you help all? No matter how you slice it, this is a sad, sad time for our people in this country.

Teri said...

hmm can I be an optimist and hope that they are helping behind the scenes when the cameras are off? Yeah I don't buy it either. I agree with Amy, with that many people in need, who do you select to help first?

An80sNut said...

Personally, I believe it's interesting to think that these reporters are being helicoptered out, given a nice steak dinner, sleeping on a tempurpedic bed, drinking wine or beer and then heading back and messing their hair up a bit to make it look like they are in the trenches. Sure, I think there are a few that are. I think that Shepard Smith from Fox News is sleeping on the concrete out there with them because he is losing it out there.

Personally, journalistic integrity be damned, help those you can. There is a falsehood in journalism about trying to make itself the "everyday Joe or Jane" yet distances itself with the idea of "act like we aren't even here."

Moose said...

Wouldn't it make more sense to have them live in the conditions they're reporting on? Their one saving grace would be they are spreading news about the conditions there, and I would hope that would make people think about being generous with assistance.

Vavoom said...

Many reporters are opportunistic these days. They hear of a catastrophe and think, "Awesome, that's gonna make a great story." It's all very sad.