If It Bleeds, It Leads...
Sunday, July 02 2006 @ 09:04 PM EDT
Contributed by: Don Winner
One thing I won't do is report on an issue before I can sort out what I know, what I don't know, what I suspect, and the spin or bias from whoever happens to be talking at the moment. The issues that make the news are usually controvertial in some respect and I try to stay as neutral as possible. Usually the first blush of a story is incorrect and it takes some time for the truth to emerge. I would much rather be slow and right than fast and wrong.
With issues like the expansion of the Panama Canal, for example, I personally think it will be a good strategic decision for Panama. I also think that in any public works program in which $5.25 billion dollars will be spent (minimum) that there will be thousands of opportunities for graft and corruption and that this project will create more than a few new millionaires. With that much money flying around there will be lots of fodder for news. The next few months leading up to the referendum will be interesting and in the end the Panamanian people will make the decision. I don't get a vote and neither to most of the people who are reading this. But of course we're interested in knowing what's going on. As far as opinions are concerned I have mine and you have yours, as it should be.
"Crime reporting has risen dramatically in newsrooms across America, and some studies suggest viewers want more of these stories. Mediascope, a non-profit media research and policy organization, released a report in which it stated, "Market research suggests that stories of crime and violence increase newscasts' ratings." This finding drives news directors to deliver more crime-related stories to their audiences.
If it bleeds, it leads As fascinating as crime may be for some viewers, is it right that a local news station air the gory details of a tragic event, possibly jeopardizing an ongoing police investigation, and violating suspects' rights? How much does the public need to know?
For reporters, the struggle over how far to pursue a story may present serious ethical and even moral complications. Investigative reporting, on any level, requires asking invasive and sensitive questions of people who may not want their privacy invaded."