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Is the media a tool of the police?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Alma, Jan 22, 2007.

  1. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    I've considered this question every so often.

    Is it the job of the news media to report crime? Random citizens who might be arrested for drunken driving, or leading police on a chase? Is it even the job of the media to report murders? Thefts? Kidnappings? Assualts? Is the news media failing to do its job if it doesn't? Does the concept of "news" always include crime?

    Beyond that, how should news organizations handle the police? Consider coverage in the Duke lacrosse case for a moment. Lives were ruined. How much fault due the media?
  2. jay_christley

    jay_christley Member

    I hate it when the argument against dropping the police logs is "but it's one of the most read parts of the paper."
  3. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    In a free and open society, any thing should be fair game. News media organizations didn't target the Duke lacrosse players. Mike Nilfong did. And the fact that he charged them was news. The fact that it touched racial sensitivities was news. You can't not report that, analyze it, etc., if you are a legit news source that covers those kinds of topics.

    You can only report what you factually know to be true--that the players were charged (not tried, not convicted, but charged). As more facts became clear, the news media did a pretty good job of reporting them. It's up to the public to sift through the reported facts and make what they will of them. If people get prematurely convicted in the court of public opinion, it's horrible. But it's one of rare those unavoidable negatives that comes with being a free and open society. You can't make people be non-judgmental, stop them from forming bad opinions or force them to be fair and level headed. It's not our jobs, nor should it be.
  4. SportsDude

    SportsDude Active Member

    There are a lot of columnists who should be writing apologies right now, I can tell you that.
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