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Inappropriate kids to interview on this subject?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Stone Cane, May 15, 2008.

  1. Stone Cane

    Stone Cane Member


    This is a story about a teacher in New Jersey charged with aggravated sexual assault and criminal sexual conduct after allegedly having sex in a classroom with a 16-year-old girl.

    Here's what i had a problem with - the reporter interviewed two students and both are freshmen girls, i assume 14 years old? maybe 15?

    Now maybe these interviews were set up with the permission of the parents, although it doesn't seem that way ("while waiting for a ride home.")

    But if you're going to interview students for this particular story, I just think you don't interview freshman girls. I know if my daughter who's that age was interviewed by a reporter about a sex assault at her school while she was waiting for a ride home, I wouldn't be real thrilled.

    Am I overreacting?

    (not to mention the first quote adds nothing to the story -- during school hours? so it would have been OK at 7 p.m. and who uses an exclamation point in a quote - that's ridiculous!)

    "During school hours? That's ridiculous!" freshman Haylee Errickson said while waiting with friends for a ride home from school Wednesday.

    "I can't imagine that happening at all," freshman Kristen Hallas said. "It's kind of disturbing."
  2. ColbertNation

    ColbertNation Member

    When dealing with high school kids, I think it's always best to go through an advocate. Doesn't have to be a parent. If it's during school hours, go through a teacher.
    From the other side, if I was a parent, I would be mad at whoever interviewed my kid, but I would also be mad at the teachers/administrators for allowing press access to students on school grounds.
  3. RedCanuck

    RedCanuck Active Member

    I don't see the harm, really. Once a student reaches high school, I think they have the capacity to think and decide for themselves if they want to do an interview or not.

    I might think differently if it was someone very close and emotionally involved, but give these students a bit of credit.
  4. For sports? Maybe.

    For a story like this one, go through parents or a teacher.
  5. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    A tape recorder and a witness are a good idea.
  6. Barsuk

    Barsuk Active Member

    This is probably the right approach. I walk up to the school, find a kid, and talk to him or her all the time, but it's always about sports-related stuff. If I were writing a story on something like this, I would probably go through an adult first.
  7. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    My kids are much younger, but if a reporter asked one of my kids a question of sexual nature when they were under 18, I'd be pretty fucking pissed.
  8. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    So go through a teacher, unless it's your kid, who shouldn't be interviewed at all regardless of whether or not a teacher says it's OK.
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