Monday, May 2, 2011

Padding your Stats.

By Lorenzo Washington

Ok, Ok, Ok we have all done it before. I'm 5'7" on a good day and I weight about a buck fifty. But if you would of look at my football depth chart it read: Lorenzo Washington--6', 180lbs of trouble. Everybody pads their stats once in awhile but does that make it journalism? I mean if you pads the stats every once in awhile it bleeds.



**If it creates a myth it leads**

Take New Orleans for example. The coverage of Hurricane Katrina was the poster child for natural disasters.

THE DOME IS FILLED WITH BODIES, THEY’RE PILING BODIES IN FREEZERS, ANTHOR RAPE UNSOLVED, NO STORE IS SAFE FORM LOOTERS – according to Brian Thevenot media outlets used titles like this to cover Katrina. It is true that New Orleans was in a state of anarchy and yea: the Dome (which was not built to shelter people in the 1st place) had below average living conditions. But were all these rapes, robberies, and acts of violence really as abundant as the media made them seem.

According to Thevenot most of the published stories that were published on Katrina were either false or couldn’t be completely verified. The stories lacked witnesses, evidence, and credibility. Stories got passed on by 4 sometimes 5 different people with no specific attribution. 1st somebody would tell someone’s that they saw someone passed out from exhaustion. Then that person says they heard there were bodies lying around and by the time the journalistic get a hold of the story the one exhausted person has evolved into 8 dead bodies.

And how could this be an ethics class if we didn’t touch on race? African Americans were, like they have many times in history, thrown under the bus. The media portrayed Black as if they were beast, rapping women, shooting rescue workers, shooting each other, and looting for personal benefit and not out of necessity-- Modern day yellow journalism. Unfortunately, African Americans’ biggest crutch was arguably self-inflicted. Blacks had developed a “black-on-black” bias in their mind. The media has portrayed African Americans overwhelming more in defeat than they have in triumph. African Americans were used to hearing stories of the downfalls of their follow blacks. Especially in N.O known for its poor minority population and exponentially high crime rates. Home to highly influence rap artist in the African American community who glorify the harsh, sometimes ghetto living condition of the Nola and embrace its nickname: The Murder Capital.

Weezy F Baby-- excuse his french but behind his profanity their a message. DEEP BEHIND HIS PROFANITY

"I tired to stay afloat on my inner tube, when they turned my city into a swimmer pool"~ Dwayne Michael Carter

This guy found out the hard way

And his buddy though he could get away with stealing pampers?!?!? SUCKS to be one of his kids...

The fact of the matter is that all of these stories surrounding Katrina were initially factual. However, the stories were exaggerated and distorted by soldiers, citizen, officials, and the press during this stressfully period in US history.

And of course in true American-fashion, instead of just apologizing like adults, the media and the citizens just pointed fingers one another and tried to blame the opposite for the sketchy coverage of New Orleans. The media blame the people for essentially lying and telling them false stories and bloggers questioned the media’s integrity, saying that it was their responsible to verify facts.

The bloggers were right. The media caught of case of what Thevenot calls “out-there-syndrome.” Since somebody had already published it, it was "out there," so it was free game. But the bloggers didn’t get off that easy. I mean yea: the media should of checked their sources, but bloggers for the most part committed the same flaw that the reporters did. The only reason that they knew that the New Orleans coverage was less than admiral was because of the media and the blogger never investigated or followed up on the fact either. They just went by what was published in the media.

The media learned a lesson that should of should have already been learned in the era of 24-hour news: You can’t play telephone with the news. NEVER REPORT UNLESS YOUR 100%.

But we can never forgot that the only reason we as a nation know things are reported badly is because of the journalists.

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