Journalism hangs in the balance
We feed off death, violence and sex, because it’s the only food around.
The WDBJ7 shooting is not only a tragedy because two innocent people died. It’s a tragedy because people are fixated on the video.
Our times are so violent that we actually want to watch an individual die just to see a glimpse of the reality we choose to avoid daily. If it’s on T.V. it’s even more justified to watch and be amazed, yet don’t feel like we’re committing a crime.
“If it’s on T.V. it’s even more justified to watch and be amazed, yet don’t feel like we’re committing a crime.”
And the same goes to all the violence we see in media daily. If reputable (or slightly) sites like ABC, Yahoo and others know the video contains the death of two professionals of the field, why not remove it?
Because people feed off it. Journalism has become a balance between providing information, regardless the quality, and finding anything to keep the reader/viewer/listener glued to the outlet. It’s basically a double-edged sword.
I reject seeing the video. As a future communications professional, I believe there are limits to what we actually should provide our readers. Mind you, it’s not censorship, it’s respect to those who deserve it.
Our times will only evolve into darker, grittier journalism and it is the challenge of the communicators to divulge the truth without breaking the paradigm of what is ethical and what is unethical. It is the challenge of journalists all over the world to ask themselves:
Would I be at peace if it was my mother or sister in that video instead of Alison Parker?
Would I be at peace if it was my brother or father in that video instead of James Foley?
Would I be at peace, if it were me?