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When and what must we cover?

by on April 24, 2013

I know we touched briefly on this in class, but after the Boston Marathon Bombing encompassing every news outlet possible last week, I am frustrated with “the news.” Not only did multiple outlets report wrong information but for the past week or so, this has all America and probably much of the world has seen. I understand that most people in America would have wanted to know as much information as possible about the bombing. But, during a 24-hr news coverage, outlets could have left the bombing incident alone for awhile and report on the other worldly news that had happened that day. As journalists or news outlets it is important to realize that we dictate what our citizens know and understand of the world. I think this marks an important ethical case. Do we feed into the demand of what the public wants to see? Or do we supply information no matter how significant? Yes, different audiences will want to know different news, according to their geographical location, etc. But should we also supply other information, when it is not necessarily “close to home?”


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  1. KiriMullen permalink

    As a journalist, our opinions are probably already biased on this issue, however I for one definitely think that even during a crisis, we need to make time for other news happening around the globe. Like Peter said in class, he simply shut off the news because it was so repetitive and frustrating. I did the same thing – I don’t want to see the same photo or video over and over again. Instead of hearing wrong or repetitive information, I would have liked to see a constant stream of Marathon Bombing updates maybe played across the bottom of the screen, while other news stories were highlighted. I feel like this would have given enough information without being totally overwhelming, and also give people who want to keep up with international news updated at the same time. Most of the news outlets did a horrible job on the marathon coverage in my opinion, and I would have liked to see some different stories woven throughout the days coverage.

  2. Though we know it is ethical to give stories the amount of time they should deserve, the sad truth is that ratings and readership are what dictates the content of newspapers and news programs. When something this big happens, the general public seems to have a one-track mind. If your news outlet isn’t covering something like a terrorist attack when it has just happened 24/7, you know that people are going to change the channel, losing you viewers, ratings and of course money. I would like to see this change, as I am sure a lot of people in class would agree, but it is going to take a lot. Do you think that a few journalists could lead the way a la The Newsroom and give the people “what they need” instead of “what they want”, or do you think that it would take a general consensus across the industry to make this happen? OR, do you think that we will see the news move in a less progressive direction and focus on ONLY what the public wants to see and nothing else?

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