In class today, we read an article asking whether or not journalists should be compared to vultures.
The main issue discussed in the article was the fact that journalists were tweeting to people who were on scene at a school shooting asking for interviews.
This led to major backlash across the Internet. Many individuals did not agree with the way these journalists handled the situation.
Social media has been a blessing and a curse for journalists. It’s now easier than ever to get in contact with sources for stories.
This way of contacting people for interviews after tragedy has been going on forever, but because of social media, these exchanges can now be seen publically.
The public expects journalists to seek the truth and report it, but they don’t want to know just how we seek it.
In this situation, I personally do not feel the journalists did anything ethically wrong. We’re tasked with minimizing harm and I feel they asked for interviews in the best way they could while still getting information for the public.
Calling journalists and news media “vultures” is incredibly unfair. Reporting on tragedies is a difficult task, but someone has to do it.
It’s hard to knock on the door of a family who has just been though the worst experience of their lives to ask them about said situation, but these interviews can shine a lot of light onto situations happening every day in this country.
Journalists have to figure out how to stay on the right side of the ethical line. In this instance, the reporters did just that.
Nancy Peyton can be contacted at [email protected]