Journalism Op/ed,

Brian37
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Journalism Op/ed,

Activism is how we, further our personal positions as a society. But there should be some lines that are unethical in journalism no matter what position one might hold.


http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/n ... ories.html

 

Media, both left and right are the check on public figures and government and are vital to protecting EVERYONE no matter what political party or religion that individual may hold.  But in this instance a newspaper's editor went way beyond anything I consider ethical. Just like the invasion of privacy Murdoch said "I didn't know", but in this case a newspaper printed the names of gun owners.

I want badly like most in this country for gun death to be reduced. But that is not the subject of this opinion. The actions of this newspaper were completely unethical. It would have been one thing if they had an Op/Ed. But outside an opinion page the stories should be NEUTRAL in reporting and allowing the reader to decide.

This particular paper violated the public trust. They were not going after criminals in this case, just like it would be unethical for a conservative paper to print the names of abortion doctors. Legal and ethical are two different things in journalism.

AGAIN this is not about guns or abortions, this is about the potential toppling of the need for a check on power and turning that check on power into a propaganda tool. It is true that permits are government records and legally the newspaper did not break the law in printing them. But they did ERODE the public trust and became an Orwellian tool on par with the dirty tactics of Murdoch's now defunct paper.

 

If that newspaper wanted to report rightfully the epidemic of gun death in this country, intimidation "outing" was not the way to do it. They could have printed the stories of local people who lost loved ones to gun death, they could even print the gun death stats of the nation, and I'd even be for printing autopsy reports with permission of the dead's family, much like we have "shock films" in drivers ed.

 

But that is not what this newspaper did. They violated the privacy of their society, not in an illegal sense, but in a public trust sense. AND the other thing these idiots didn't think about, now that the gun owners are known, criminals might break into their dwellings or businesses and steel those guns, so is this same newspaper willing to take responsibility for a gun death if that stolen gun is taken from one of the "outed".

 

I can promise you if I had owned this newspaper the asshole who did this would be fired. Wanting to rightfully report a public health issue is fine, and gun death is a public health issue, but you cannot, nor should you, erode a tool that is the only check against government fascism by becoming Big Brother yourself. It was not the paper's intent, it was the tactic I object to.

 

Shame on this newspaper. Your job is to keep the public trust and you cannot do that by having the public fear even news media. This is NOT about social issues, this is about what kind of country ALL OF US would want to live in. If I do not want to fear my government, I would also not want to fear the news media.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


Brian37
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http://www.theblaze.com/stori

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/blogger-...employees/

I hate that it came to this, but good for this blogger. Maybe these employees of this newspaper will not do this in the future once they get "outed" themselves.

Where they failed as a media entity is that they did to others what they as individuals would not want done to them when a law is not being broken.

As I said in the OP, if their intent was to say "guns are a problem", I get that. But using intimidation tactics is not the way to inform the public.

Now that these newspaper employees have been "outed" themselves, hopefully they will learn that this is not about one person, or one social issue. This is about what kind of society we all should want to live in long term.

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37