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Remember, You're Human Too

"What if the roles were reversed; how would I feel?"
~page 30 of Haiman's Best Practices for Newspaper Journalists

All of the questions Haiman posed in this chapter are important, but I think that this one was the most crucial. I know not all reporters are as bad as some of the situations mentioned in this book and fictional media suggest, in fact, I'm willing to bet most aren't, but this is one of many reasons why I could never be a reporter. It is a reporter's job to cover these tragic events. Even with sympathy, I could never go up to a grieving family and pester them with questions. I just don't think it's right. I know in certain cases it needs to be done, and I am sympathetic to the reporters who have no choice but to do this, but I never could. Anyways, I think that, especially in these situations, reporters do need to think about how they would want to be treated if the situation were reversed. It would cause them to think twice about what they are doing or asking and make them more likely to truly take the the citizens' best interests at heart. It would make them better reporters.

Other Thoughts on Haiman 29-42

Comments (1)

I absolutely agree with both points you make, Jennifer. Never could I imagine myself bombarding a grief stricken family with questions, and I certainly see how it’s difficult for the public to be understanding of journalists who have. Your topic could also be connected to the section that addressed over emphasizing the negative (which is what I blogged about). We’ve already learnt Death is news worthy, but why is it necessary to interview families after they have lost loved ones. I honestly have difficulty grasping the why of such things. Can’t life be more interesting than death? But people will be interviewed in these types of situations, so they should conduct themselves appropriately.

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