Thursday, October 1, 2015

Different Face + Same News=Diversity? 

Diversity in the media? Absolutely! How can anyone say it isn't diverse? When the O.J. Simpson trial began, news stations from around the world were camped outside the courtroom and fixated on this case.  Everyone reporting the same story!

Media Effect on The OJ Simpson Murder Trial

The Code of Ethics from reporters near and far were literally sawed in two by this coverage. The competition was fierce. The ratings blew through the roof. That makes it diverse, right?

"… The most disappointing aspect of this entire trial to me was the role of the media. The press went at this case like a bee going after honey. They were just obsessed with it to the point that facts didn't matter; tainting evidence didn't matter; undermining the criminal justice system didn't matter. It was gotcha journalism. It was 'If it bleeds, it leads.' It was 'Anybody who has anything to say, we want to hear it, whether or not we believe it's credible.' And I think it was, in a sense, an embarrassment to the First Amendment in the sense that you want to make sure there's free opportunity for expression.
But on the other hand, what the media did was feed the public an image of this trial that was deeply skewed, deeply flawed and ultimately untenable. The press made many, many mistakes, and I think it cost the prosecution losing witnesses, losing evidence and giving the public a perception of guilt without giving them all of the reasonable doubts that were clearly developed during the course of this very lengthy trial."

Charles J. Ogletree Jr., Harvard law professor and 
director of Harvard's Houston Institute for Race & Justice.

The problem with the media is there doesn't seem to be any diversity in the news they are reporting, not who is reporting it. It seems it's all the same, just a different reporter. The media hypes things up. Somewhere along the line, a reporter told a gruesome new story, probably gave the disclaimer "viewer discretion advised", and then the ratings drastically increased. This trend seems to have caught on to every reporter in the United States of America. It seems all the breaking news is tragic news. 

The media has the tendency to over publicize. They like to act like the judge and jury before someone has even been charged with a crime. The media needs to be held accountable at the highest level for the stories they choose to air. I think the media goes too far and uses poor judgement more often than not.

Isn't there something else going on that would benefit public awareness? Why don't reporters do their due diligence and dig deep into some real issues in this world. Starving families, homelessness, human trafficking, the refugees--why don't they choose to be the voice for those without one? If just one reporter would concentrate on the humane issues we should be doing something about, others will follow suit. Maybe even the American people will join in and volunteer to help or send money for aid.
As far as diversity regarding a reporter, does it really matter who is behind the camera? Does it really matter what ethnic background a reporter has?  Is the message any clearer if an African American is reporting on another African American? The issue at hand is all reporting needs to be unbiased. So if the reporter is from the same ethnic background, is the news going to be fair and unbiased? 

Journalism is an extremely competitive career. It isn't for everyone. Not everyone has interest in this field. And for those who are interested, not all are cut out for it. The bottom line is that reporting needs to be truthful, unbiased facts. Who delivers it to the public, earned it!

1 comment:

  1. You have some really good points there; one of them is how the media likes to act like the judge and jury before someone has even been charged of a crime. All too often journalist well take a side before the other person even gets a chance to speak. They well say something before having all the facts, and can completely swaying the publics opinion on a person. And even if the facts are untrue, just because they are said about the person, that suspects character well always come into question.

    Kristian M.