Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Sorry, no can do

Browsing through PoynterOnline the other day, I came across a transcript from "On the Media" titled "What's the best story you know but can't write about?" I began to ponder this question before I even read the article, and began raising questions of my own. How many stories out there do the public not know because journalists "can't" write about them?

I won't lie, I've felt the pressure even at a little liberal arts college. I was given a few controversial stories in which I could have made some professors and faculty very angry. I covered the stories, but maybe not as well as I should have because I was afraid of the consequences. Who wants to experience flack for what they write?

I can only imagine the pressure real journalists experience everyday. They have big time editors and the government to deal with. They have to worry about being arrested for what they write! Sadly, this problem is one that can, and most likely does, have very dire consequences.
"I think that reporters should be asked routinely, what is the best story you know about that you can't write, and tell me why you're not writing it. I think reporters should be encouraged to talk about the conflict they have in dealing with their sources and the kinds of accommodations they're making," Edward Wasserman states.

As I stated in a previous blog, the press and the media have a direct responsibility to the public. When the press is making "accomodations" in their writing and, in esscence, not letting the public know the truth in any situation, they're not doing their job of being the watchdog for society. Reporters and the media should have free reign, for the most part, to report on the workings of the government. The press can't do their job when they can't report what they want. Something really needs to change!


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