Those crazy, tree-huggin' activists

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"Activists tell dramatic stories, with suffering innocents who are victimized by culpable forces of evil..." (117)

To me, the most notable aspect of IANS ch. 7 was the author’s discussion of activists and their role in perpetuating risk in the media.  In short, I disagreed with the authors in their attempt to blame activists for over-exaggeration of risk.  For instance, the above quote seems equivalent to the vernacular, "Yeah you crazy activists, take all your poor and suffering and your agendas and go straight to ----." The activist attack seemed so out of the blue because up until this point the authors had discussed the short comings of journalists and at times scientists in reporting the results of scientific studies, whether pre-meditated or accidental.  Now they seem to be throwing in an entirely different group -- activists. 

Although they went a little overboard, I think I can see where they were coming from.  True journalism is no place for activism.  Journalism is about presenting fair, objective, and balanced stories, and letting readers determine their own opinions on the subject.  From there, readers can choose to take an activist stance - or not.  But in any case, it's not the journalist’s job to sway them one way or the other.  However, to make such sweeping generalizations about activist groups in general didn't seem fair.  If journalists take an activist stance when writing an article they are the ones to blame, not activists.  After all, isn't the point of activism to draw media attention to what the activists believe is a problem?


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Maddie Gillespie said:

I liked the conclusions you drew about journalism not being about activism. I agree with you that journalists should be fair and objective no matter what the reporter or others might think. Your quote and your vernacular version were great too. You made me think about something that i just read and skipped over before. Thanks.

Bethany Merryman said:

Journalist cannot be activists, or at least not report on the topic which they are activists of. Imagine the papers if that was allowed! I also agree however that they shouldn't have attacked the activists, like it was their fault. I think it is just as much the journalist's problem for taking news from the activists.

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