By Casey Bukro
Here’s an interesting idea:
Journalists should stop mimicking what’s happening on the internet.
You get a pretty good idea that it can be an ethics imbroglio just by some of the topics: Privacy vs. adoration, stalking and paparazzi.
A workshop organizer, Jan Leach of Kent State’s School of Journalism, said they picked entertainment ethics “because there’s so much entertainment and celebrity journalism available in all media…..”
The news, she adds, “is often part truth and part rumor, ” but consumers might not be able to tell the difference. “There’s so much spin from publicity departments.”
And, it might be fair to say, journalists fall for it or go along with it.
It’s easy to cover and does not take much imagination. But how much wall-to-wall coverage does the public need about Lindsay Lohan and Miley Cyrus?
Even while reporting the latest escapades of such human train-wrecks, TV announcers can be heard to say: “Why are we doing this again?” They admit to giving more publicity to people acting odd, because they want the publicity.
The Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics encourages journalists to act independently and “avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.”
Though it’s called entertainment, there doesn’t seem to be much entertaining about it. It’s more like voyeurism.
Here’s an idea for what could be an entertaining story: The funny behavior of men and women in business, commerce and industry.
When’s the last time you saw a funny story about business? It’s all so serious, and people who cover it take it so seriously. There must be some humor in it somewhere, even though economics is called the dismal science.
Corporate publicity departments work overtime to make their CEOs look almost god-like.
Another example of copy cat journalism.