Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Media accountability?

Over the last year, there's been pleny of mainstream media (MSM)bashing of the 'Blogosphere'. I myself am not a subscriber to that term. It assumes that there is an all-encompassing theme that goes through the various blogs and that we're all somehow linked to each other. Anyone with any semblance of a clue knows that's just not the case.
Most of the time, we're pictured by the Dan Rather's of the world as 'pajama-clad' maniacs who do nothing else but sit in front of our computers all night, never seeing the light of day. Again, just not the case.
But they feel threatened. They are realizing that their monopoly on the information that people are getting is dead, and they have to lash out at someone. We're easy targets because there's no one central person to stand up and represent us and put down these sort of misconceptions.
However, I've noticed something over the last year or so. Mainstream media has started to actually take SOME responsibility for poor reporting. The Jayson Blair incident with the New York times really gave the Times a well-deserved black eye. Several other incidents have happened including the forging of the Guard documents last year.
However, recently I've seen a case where a local newspaper dismissed a reporter and photographer for 'unethical' behavior during the story. The Kalamazoo Gazette dismissed reporter Craig McCool and photographer Mairin Chapman after finding that they not only consumed alcohol during the reporting of a story on underage drinking among college students, but participated in a game of Beer Pong with the aforementioned underage students, and also wrote the story as if all the drinking observed happened in one night, when in actuality it happened over a series of nights.
Basically, they violated a basic principle of journalism where the reporter should not get involved in the story they're reporting because that would bias their story. Being amazed that there ARE principles in journalism, I had to actually look into this story a bit more and get some info on whether there have been any other dismissals for such a thing. As of right now, I've yet to be able to find anything that's been reported on the web where someone has been dismissed for this sort of behavior. I've found firings due to plagiarism, reporting on games from watching them on TV, and some other issues.
Is the MSM finally realizing that their reporters can't be PART of a story and also report on it? Naw, that'd take some backbone and some ethics. The only thing that's happening here is that they're running for cover now that the spotlight is shining on them after the fake documents from last summer.
Too bad more media outlets haven't fired their reporters for making themselves part of the stories they're reporting on. We'd be rid of such morons as Wolf Blitzer, Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings, and the rest.

1 comment:

Bad Andy said...

There is one person out there in the media crusading for our cause - the infamous John Stewart. Yeah, everybody's heard about his tirade on Crossfire. But he was right, and he stood by his convictions.

Last night he was back at it again for the first time since Crossfire. On the Daily Show he ripped into two CNN anchors (can't remember who they were, but they were both female) for their refusal to call out an anti-gay marriage propoent for his citing of an, in all probability, false or misrepresentative study.

Good stuff. Humourous as well!