It has been said recently that journalists are criminals when it comes to murder stories. We pick and pry and are heartless when it comes to grief. We want our story and we do not care how we get it.
Is this really true? Are we so wrapped up in producing a story that we don't take family or friends in to account?
I disagree. I feel that good, ethical journalism cares. The good journalists out there do sympathize with their subjects' family and friends; just ask these people that have been spotlights in the media. Some say the media helped and others say they made it all more painful. If you read carefully though, the ones that did help were ethical. They were sensitive, not blunt or rude. They let the subject tell them the story, instead of prying for more. They were good journalists.
Why then, are some of us crowding around funeral grounds as if something ground breaking is going to happen? News flash: the people at the funerals are crying, and the main subject is dead. Nothing news worthy is going to happen.
Earlier this year, Newtown was the biggest subject of all. Over 20 tiny children were ruthlessly murdered and teachers lost their lives defending them. The country was distraught. What kind of monster would do this to children? Are we monsters for reporting it? When is the time to stop reporting and let the families really feel, down to their core, their child's absence?
The first step we need to take as journalists is the step to recognize what is and is not journalism. Covering a school shooting is journalism. Covering dozens of family and friends grieving and putting it on TV for the world to see is not journalism. The country knew the devastation the families must have been feeling. There was absolutely no reason to try to air the funerals of these children to the public. We did not know these children personally, and if we did we would have been at the service. Grieving is a given. There is no need to display it to the public. Let's ask journalists if they would like a video camera shoved in their face the next time they are having a mental breakdown and see what they think of it.
NEWTON FUNERAL WASN'T NEWSWORTHY
Journalists were trying to get in any way they could, as mentioned in this article. Back off and let the families grieve in private. After all, their child was murdered in front of the whole country. Leave them to what little dignity they have left.
The Newtown funeral was not news worthy. End of story.
WHO'S KILLING WHO?
According to this article, "g