Thursday, February 01, 2007


I've occasionally ranted about my perception of the inequity of the journalism world. Personally, I believe that the media has done a piss poor job reporting news from Iraq. I also believe that they do a very poor job in reporting about the military in general. I also believe that many in the media believe that armed services recruiting targets the poor and minorities, despite evidence to the contrary.

However those are my opinions, and mine alone. It's not like I'm on some newspaper editor's internal mailing list where they bad-mouth servicemembers and talk about about stoopid we are.

I've often complained about the journalistic habit to run stories about "bad" things happening. Akinoluna talks briefly about this very subject.
Media-haters like to use this phrase to show their disdain for the media. They say the media runs only the "bad" stories because that's what sells papers. And it's true, to a certain extent. But then I started thinking and I realized something: Would we really want the opposite?

If your local paper passes on running a "bloody" story in favor of running a "happy" story, you won't know what happened. For example, what if a family on the next block get murdered in their sleep and the killer escapes but the next morning the Hometown Gazette prints an article about how a local student raised $2000 to buy blankets for homeless people, and says nothing about the bloody crime.
I don't think I've ever said I didn't want the "bad" news reported. All I want is balance and perspective. I'd be glad to read about this awful crime in my neighborhood, and grateful to the Hometown Gazette for informing me. However I'm also assuming that the Hometown Gazette's reporter isn't hoping that the murderer escapes. I'm also assuming that there isn't an accompanying editorial in the Hometown Gazette where they blame the mayor for the murderer's actions. I'm also assuming that the reporter won't publish any material provided by the murderer without running it by the cops first.

Basically, I'm assuming that the reporter from the Hometown Gazette is not rooting for the murderer.

I would hate to live in a society which only sees things through rose colored glasses. Such reporting would leave you unaware and unprepared for the harshness of reality. But does CNN need to run an insurgent snuff video in the same year when they refuse to show a Mohammed cartoon?

Anyways, I need to be getting to the office. Have a good one.


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