SHOW RESPECT for the hurting!

The New Media

by Kenneth Justice

~ This morning on CNN friends of the North Carolina shooting victims were interviewed and I was moved to tears. These two young women only days ago woke up to find that their loved ones were dead; and now CNN is using them as “good footage” since they are really broken up over the deaths, and have barely begun the grieving process.

Is it too much for me to suggest we need a new policy in NEWS media; leave people alone who are grieving and hurting?

I suppose the counterargument is that these people could turn down the interview; but having grieved the deaths of loved ones before, I know from firsthand experience that you are often not thinking entirely straight in the midst of tragedy.

The NEWS Media is capitalizing off of the tears of the hurting. The NEWS media is capitalizing off of death and tragedy. In my mind it is tragic what the NEWS does; don’t they have any scruples? Don’t these talking head NEWS people realize that when you lose someone you need time to grieve and work through the emotions that you are feeling?

I’m tired of people telling me ‘There’s nothing we can do to change any of these problems in our culture” and ‘There isn’t anything we can do to change the NEWS”

REALLY???? There’s nothing we can do? I beg to differ; we have already begun doing it! You see, as more people have turned to blogs and Internet NEWS sites it caused Newspapers and Television News to see massive drops in audience. Bloggers, Online writers and journalists have put pressure on professional journalism to speak to what people really want to hear.

Now the question is whether or not the common person will join the revolution in the New Media. You see, we sit at the precipice of the most fascinating moment in NEWS and journalism. Instead of having to depend upon billionaires to control the NEWS, you and I live in an era where WE can share what is happening in our backyards and towns.

Through LIVE streaming video we can share live NEWS reports from Toronto, London, Los Angeles, or wherever! Through Twitter, and blogs, and Websites, we can share up-to-the minute NEWS and information.

However, as Benjamin Franklin said, “We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately” . We need to connect with each other instead of living disconnectedly.

Just a few thoughts as I sipped my coffee this morning,


Categories: Culture & Society

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

18 replies

  1. Thought-provoking post! I agree with your view. We are already making a difference.

  2. This availability of the media and our accessibility is a double edged sword….sadly many of us throw ourselves on it…under the guise of “providing information”…
    Simple thing I heard many years ago…and it applies to everything….
    “Just because we can do it…should we do it…”

    • great quote; Neil Postman often said something similar, “The only question our culture asks is ‘can we do it’ but the question we should really be asking is ‘should we do it'”

  3. Oh yes! I cannot stand to watch the media descend like vultures and try to play off of people’s grief. That’s just exploitative and wrong.

  4. The only defense I may have for that is that…providing that part of the story helps humanize the victims…they were cared about and people should be aware of this; this is particularly true given that they were Muslims and there is such a strong anti-Muslim feeling these days. That said, I don’t care for getting in the faces of the loved ones left to grieve. I tend to agree that it’s not in good taste. There was a family here that lost three generations in one single-vehicle accident and this local BLOGGER felt the need to just show up at a family gathering to start asking questions. It was horribly inappropriate…particularly because everyone seems to think he works for the newspaper…which he does not. While I agree that the Internet and the availablility of readers is a good thing for “competition” if you will, I still say you need to be careful of who you call a journalist. Some bloggers are great about fact checking and providing two sides to every story but that really doesn’t happen all that much. Many readers follow certain bloggers because they tend to agree (that happens in news writing also but the difference is people will follow reporters/columnists/journalists whom they feel they trust is giving at least two sides every time they write). Wouldn’t you argue that readers need to follow bloggers whom they don’t agree with simply to get the other side of the story? Good luck getting that to happen given the same argument you’ve made about people not even wanting to discuss hot topics together to avoid conflict; reading blogs is for leisure so why would they follow something that could upset them? There is also something to be said for having been trained in journalism/media writing and being able to apply those skills. I could go on about this but I suspect this is something that can be discussed at a later time. 🙂 Just to be clear – I tend to agree that staying out of loved ones faces is a better practice, all I’m saying is that sometimes it’s worth including the human element in stories too – it just could be done a bit more tactfully.

  5. Thanks Kenneth for you thoughts.

    If anyone wants to delve in to the topic of media and how it impacts our lives I would highly recommend the book “Mediated” by Thomas De Zengotita. One of the big questions in this area is the way it often blocks us from being able to be genuine. After you’ve seen the twin towers fall, over and over – how does this impact us?

  6. Yes! Great post again! I try to stay away from main stream media, have enjoyed turning to blogs and those such as yours Kenneth, there is hope for humanity!

  7. I heard one new reporter say that he did this all the time…stuck microphones in the faces of the grieving or shocked. And then it happened to him and some one shoved a microphone in his face and he never did it again. It’s horrifying. One way to end it is to stop watching.

  8. Fascinating post and it’s true that through blogging etc we can see first hand accounts of what is going on but we don’t know if the writer is biased or lying! We just have to hope we can trust investigative reporters to search out and report the TRUTH and the FACTS.

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