During the US election, we had the now President-Elect, Donald Trump complain about how the media had been treating him. But Trump isn’t the only one who has complained about those who bring us the news. I’ve heard countless complainants about our news media from a variety of people, but do we really have anything to complain about? I’ve heard it been said that reporters only care about a story, but don’t we love to read the very thing they write? There are complaints about how the media is bias, but don’t we all have our own biases?
Former Daily Mail, now Sun journalist Nick Pisa appeared in the recent Amanda Knox documentary. The reporter was one of the first to break the story on Miss Knox’s arrest and trail. When responding to those who disapproved of his style of reporting he said, “They are the same people who are the same people who are logging onto the internet first thing in the morning trying to find out the latest details”. Now I’m not a fan of The Daily Mail or The Sun, but Mr Pisa does have a point.
Now one could argue that there’s a need for responsible and ethical journalism. I would agree and I wouldn’t consider Nick Pisa reporting on Amanda Knox to not be an example of fair and decent journalism. He’s been immensely criticised for what he said in the documentary and I think such appraisal is fair. I also feel the need to point out that, among others, the likes of Malcolm Gladwell, Rukmini Callimachi and Sarah Maslin Nir are ethical reporters. They are people who take their jobs very seriously and make corrections when they mistakenly misrepresent someone in a story. So let’s not paint every reporter with the same brush. Some recognise they’re writing about an actual person, but we also have reporters who don’t give a damn about the people in their story.
But the fact still remains that we read reports from unethical journalists, so why do we complain about their way of reporting? Aren’t we as bad as them if we read their stories? Does complaining about the story we just read release us of all responsibility? After all if the demand is there, it will be supplied. Maybe if we took a stand and decided not to read such stories, then maybe they would stop their immoral ways of reporting. Maybe the problem doesn’t start with the media, maybe it starts with us? Maybe instead of moaning we should seek out ethical journalists and just read their stories. And then maybe, just maybe these unethical reporters will change the way in how they go about bringing us the news.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org