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Posting a controversial video

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Bucknutty, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. Bucknutty

    Bucknutty Member

    Haven't posted on here in a while, so apologies to anyone who remembers me. Anyway, a prominent high school coach in the region I cover let myself and one other reporter film his post-game speech to his players the other day. This coach is basically a hero to much of our readership and the talk was great, but about halfway through he started talking about Jesus Christ and how you have go put your faith in the man above. This is the coach of a public school team.

    I asked my editor what he wanted me to do and he said for me to post it, so I did. I have this bad feeling in my stomach, however, like something bad is going to happen here. Already the first comments on the video are about how he probably shouldn't be saying things like that.

    What do you all think? Should I have argued harder with my editor instead of deferring to him? Should I be worried at all? Do I deserve the little knot in my stomach right now?
  2. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    What's your concern? He allowed you to record the speech. He gave the speech. You have an actual video, there's not even room for him to say he was misquoted or taken out of context.

    If someone objects to the tone or content of the speech, how is that your responsibility?

    ps, Just guessing at least half (or more) of your readership won't think it's controversial at all.
  3. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Half? I bet he won't get a peep of complaint.

    It's not the least bit unusual for a high school coach to invoke Jesus in many places.

    At least he's not burning the Koran.
  4. copperpot

    copperpot Well-Known Member

    I see no problem with posting it, as stated above. Just because it made you uncomfortable doesn't mean you should spike it. Coach knew what you were doing and gave you permission.

    We had a situation once where a photog shot a heavy guy at the beach with his daughter. Really cute pic -- guy was walking on the dock with her. My editor wanted to kill it, saying the guy would be mortified to have his picture run with no shirt on. I argued that he gave the photog his name and hometown and that the picture captured a sweet moment between a father and daughter. It ran.
  5. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Run it.

    At worst, the guy will get a slap on the wrist and be told not to use Christ in future speeches.

    And then he will be an even bigger hero to the masses.

    When I coached, the captain asked if we could pray before the game. I told them we could, but I was doing the prayer, if you didn't want to pray with us, that was cool you could do your own thing away from the circle and when I prayed "God" was about as in depth as it got.
  6. TigerVols

    TigerVols Well-Known Member

    There's no question you should post the video, w/o qualms.

    And there's no question this public school employee should be fired on the spot.
  7. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    Pass it to the news department. It's their job to deal with heavy stuff.
  8. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member


    Not saying that it's appropriate, but most places I have worked, this would not even raise an eyebrow.
  9. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    At most a letter in his file.
  10. I've not seen many high schools where the coach isn't expected to be like that by most parents. It seems like every other week I meet a coach who tells me part of their ability to win that week was their faith in God. FWIW, I do live in the South.

    Besides, I doubt the other reporter is going to fret over posting it so it'll be online anyway.
  11. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    No harm no foul here. Now, if you'd gotten him suggesting they go somewhere else after proclaiming their faith, that might be interesting ...
  12. BillyT

    BillyT Active Member

    Do you want to fire the coach who let the high school team in Detroit practice at night during Ramadan or are you just anti-Christian?
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