MetaMedia: Reporting responsibly

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Viewers need chance to react and form opinions.

The job of a journalist is not as simple as saying, “Well, look at what’s going on here. Grab a reporter, it needs to be covered.”

Journalists have a responsibility to determine not only what to report, but also how much.

The challenge in reporting news is determining the limits to potentially inappropriate situations.

Recall the video of the Nebraska toddler spouting profanities while cheered on by his parents. The video, played by national news outlets, provided viewers the opportunity to form their own opinions.

Although bleeping was not used to block the profanities, the toddler’s face was blurred to maintain the child’s privacy. Airing the raw video helps viewers grasp the inappropriateness of the incident.

Coverage led to an intervention by Nebraska Child Protective Services.

Of the many reactions, it’s the journalist’s responsibility to give people the opportunity to react and make their own judgments taking action if necessary.

The way journalists report is a carefully and responsibly made decision to inform people.


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