To all those who still doubt, I take this opportunity to share my views on the news media, following your story, “Sun Sentinel reporter storms out of town meeting screaming; threatens boycott.”
Ironically, my point was proven again within 24 hours of your first hand report of the story. Secondary accounts have been reposted by other news sources and their “facts” are either completely missing or made up.
One of the sites, Mediaite, posted the video with this headline, “Reporter goes off on tea partier criticizing the media: Don’t listen to this crap!” They called me a council member and a tea partier, both of which are completely inaccurate.
A tea partier? It must have been an unsettling moment for the tea party. And for Republicans and Democrats across half of Florida, it must have created a state of shock and awe. I could not have strategized a better way to prove my own point.
First, I believe the need for speed and the race to be the first to post news has compromised accuracy and factual detail.
It wasn’t this way 40-years ago when news was gathered in hours, not in minutes, facts were confirmed before being aired, and facts, not speed were the goal.
Second, 40-years ago reporters would weigh the lifetime work and achievements of an individual, and if, in a moment, a wrong word or poor statement was made by a person, the reporter would use reasonable judgment about the twenty years of good that had been accomplished before destroying the life and profession of that individual.
Today, I believe 20-seconds of a poorly stated thought or a misspoken emotion becomes a reflex feeding frenzy for the reporter. The reporter can then claim the credit for the takedown with no thought at all to the lifetime reputation of the person being obliterated.
Next, the line between the news and commentary was once very clear. Today, the same show and the same broadcast stations bounce back and forth from news to commentaries, overlapping and interacting.
It takes an advanced degree to keep track of what is objectively factual and what are the personal views presented as empirical truth by journalists or commentators.
I don’t believe good journalistic judgment is the norm anymore, and as I state, these developments are not good for our country.
Instead, this new journalism shows a lack of judgment by reporters and is the reason they get little respect.
Delray Beach, Florida
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