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Movie Theater Disgrace

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Postby WharfRat » Fri Aug 19, 2005 1:10 pm

CubsFan7724 wrote:
WharfRat wrote:
Mookie4ever wrote:In a public interest story "boy causes a disturbance by laughing during Schindlers List and is asked to leave" does not sell but "Disabled 7-year-old ejected from theater" gets people mad and they want to read. These stories are meant to rouse emotions.


The first item you mention isn't newsworthy. It happens all the time, and it's pretty ordinary. It would be like a reporter writing a story about someone sending back soup in a restaurant because it was cold. The latter story is newsworthy. It's out of the ordinary, and it sounds like the kid and his family got screwed. Do you think the reporter should have simply said "not interested" when the family called him about it? Should he have said he doesn't do stories about handicapped kids getting unfairly screwed, because it would make people too mad? Does the fact that it rouses emotions mean that it shouldn't be covered?

In the business and law sections I do not believe anything other than the cold hard facts because those journalists all have agendas and are not shy about them. One journalist will write the story "Martha Stewart Scammed Millions in Insider Trading Scheme" while another will write "SEC Abuses Power and Wastes Public Money Yet Again in Witchhunt". These guys will not let the facts get in the way of their story and I know of countless stories where journalists have outright lied to make their story.


OK, you're obviously exaggerating a little bit here. If you can actually show me a link to a real story from a real newspaper that takes an approach you described, I might change my tune. I see your point though, and I think you're way off. Are reporters machines? No. They write their stories the way they perceive them, and different reporters would handle a single story differently. But that's a far cry from bias. So in your experience, what have they lied about?

I respect some journalists but others are just out to sell papers.


Fair enough. But sensationalism and fabrication are two very different things.

How is this story different because hes disabled. Should he have special privileges to be annoying because hes disabled?


A regular kid knows not to screw around. This is newsworthy because a) the kid probably wasnt able to control himself, and b) the manager might have overreacted. It also raises questions: Is this standard treatment of disabled kids? And how much leeway, if any, should the rest of society give disabled folks who could possibly be disruptive? Plus, it's something of a rarity. The fact that it has its own thread tells me something about its newsworthiness.
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Postby WharfRat » Fri Aug 19, 2005 7:38 pm

Mookie4ever wrote: I'm not exaggerating. If you want examples just look at the coverage of Barry and Dusty Baker. You have heard that there are lies, damned lies and statistics right? Some reporters are the same way, what they report may be factually correct but because of the spin and omissions and slant they do not tell the entire story.


What happened to Martha Stewart? :-D But how has the coverage of Bonds and Baker been unfair? Baker I probably missed something, but I don't see how Bonds has been treated unfairly by the press. I thought the Chronicle has been tremendous in its coverage, and I really think a majority of the coverage I've seen has been fair.

I can't tell you anything from my personal experience. One of them turned into a defammation lawsuit and a few of them were threatened lawsuits.


Wow. Well you've had some bad luck my friend. But I understand you can't talk about it.

I take it that you are either a journalist or a journalism student. I don't mean to be offensive but I think that you still have your rose coloured glasses on. On the other hand I am particularly jaded and cynical. The reality is probably somewhere in the middle. It always is.


I was a journalism student and a journalist, but not anymore. However, I've either interned and/or worked at four different newspapers, and since I'm now in PR, I've met a slew of reporters from Maine to Honolulu and Juneau, and all points in-between. So I think I've got a pretty wide array of personal experience to draw from. And most of these folks I wouldn't call reckless individuals.

There are plenty of Jason Blairs, Stephen Glasses, and Bob Novaks out there. I realize that in some ways the media is deeply flawed. But when people slam the media as a whole, and say that they all have secret agendas, well there are a lot of good people trying to do their jobs right. I definitely don't think it's a case of rose-coloured glasses.
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