Story Ideas 10.3.10

Just one for this week – ethics. Morals. Slippery slopes and trying to do the right thing.

Check out the post right below this one – Staging. It ain’t right. (I use poor grammar to emphasize the point.)

This week think about what keeps citizens in line – why (most) folks steer clear of law-breaking. Should you break the law and speed? How about if you have a critically ill person who needs to get to medical care immediately? It is wrong to lie – but sometimes “white lies” are okay, even a good thing. Or are they? Does a lie ever justify itself?

I bring this up because if it were not for Record photographer Clifford Oto in the posting below, a very minor, not a big-deal type of lie would have gone unnoticed. And a couple of journalists who might have had a teensy qualm about staging an event would see that it wasn’t caught and perhaps move on to bigger lies.

So consider this – does the minor lie of staging a single hug – just asking the participants to do it again, “this time for the camera,” really help the audience connect to and understand the story better?

Story idea: does the media do a good job of policing itself in your area? Is it done formally or informally? Does the public every find out?

Truth is, I’ve only “ratted out” a few folks for going over the line I’ve drawn in the sand for myself. And I honest-to-gosh hope that if I cross that line myself someone either speaks to me or turns me over to the boss.

Why bother with this? Transparency. What the public doesn’t know CAN hurt them. Trust in the media seems to be at an all-time low these days and incidents like this are used to justify that distrust.

And the final question: would YOU turn in a friend, a co-worker, someone from the competition if THEY crossed the line? Hmmmm…


One thought on “Story Ideas 10.3.10

  1. Addendum: one of my many minor sins is cruising craigslist for goodies and story ideas. One of the sins I find unforgivable on said list are help wanted postings by students looking to pay someone to take a class for them a test for them, or to hand over test answers so they’ll get the grade they want. My (former) methodology of handling this was to email the poster and the college/school I suspected they attended. (have a really good relationship with our local community college where most of the offenders attend) I said “former” above because the latest “student” emailed me back and gave me pause to reflect that I really didn’t want him (a parolee who really really needs to pass this class) dropping by in person. Why do this? Self-policing again. As a just-retired teacher, I find this type of cheating offensive and unfair to students who work hard for their grades. All through school we tell students not to cheat – and at the college level there are few if any second chances. You fail the paper, the test, are kicked out of the class or barred from attending the school. Harsh, but fair. (oh – except for you poor morally challenged gutter-dwellers who can’t seen to get it)

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