The state of journalism

In case you never noticed the Tripit widget in the sidebar, or read through rss and can’t see the sidebar, I’m on the road right now.

While I’m traveling, I have a habit of turning on the local news in the morning as I’m getting ready for the day.

Two stories this morning really drove home to me the current state of modern journalism.

First, the local ABC affiliate has been talking for two days about an isolation room in a local school.  The important part of the story to me is the reported fact that the room is only used for special needs children that tend to get violent, is used for the protection of these children and the other children in the school, and is only used with the prior permission of the parents

The even showed about 2 seconds of an interview with one of those parents this morning, complaining that it’s a travesty that this issue has been blown so out of proportion that the school is now considering discontinuing use of the room and removing this valuable resource for her special needs child.

The positive being that they’ve mentioned that aspect of the story at all, but the mentions have been few, brief, and not explored very deeply.

Their focus all along has been on sensationalizing the story and the obvious implication has been “look what the school MIGHT be doing to your children…”

This morning they were all proud of themselves that this story, originally “broken” on this local channel, is now national news and that the publicity has forced the school to reconsider it’s policy on the isolation room.

In other words, it’s more important to them that their sensationalistic “story” caused a national, overblown reaction, than the impact that this reaction is going to have on the special needs children that need this resource and will no longer have it available to them.

To the “journalists” on this story, it’s more important to get national coverage, than it is to get it right.

The second story was more brief, but no less ridiculous. I’m sure you’ve all heard about Lindsey Lohan going back to jail for slugging some other woman in a bar. I saw a short clip this morning of Lohan being released from jail, presumably on bond. In the background, you can hear our nation’s wonderful “journalists” shouting questions at her as she’s being hustled from the jail to her waiting limo. One of the “journalists” loudly and clearly questioned: “Did you hit her with a left or with a right?”

Seriously? The most important question you can think of to ask is which hand she used to slug someone?

And they wonder why their industry is dying.

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1 thought on “The state of journalism

  1. I’m way ahead on these.

    1. We don’t engage the school system beyond being forced to fund it.

    2. We killed our TV a few years ago. Haven’t watched TV “news” for a couple decades.

    Safe travels!

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