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May 2nd, 2012 4:03 pm
What Has Happened to Media Ethics?

It is one issue to discuss racially motivated violence, and the many relevant questions raised thereby. That is not the purpose of this blog post, even though elsewhere I have been heavily covering a similar incident in Mobile. Instead, this is to express absolute bumfuzzlement at the atrocious journalistic ethics at the Norfolk Virginia-Pilot, which buried for two weeks the story of two of their own reporters getting beaten up by a huge mob in what appears to have been a random, racially motivated attack.

This defies belief. Forget, for a moment, that these are its own reporters. No matter who the victims were, this was news. Here was the question the columnist wrote, rhetorically, in explaining her paper’s lack of coverage: “In this case, editors hesitated to assign a story about their own employees. Would it seem like the paper treated its employees differently from other crime victims?”

Huh? Would editors really not cover such a story if they knew about it, if the victims were anybody other than their own employees? That’s even a worse admission, or claim, than to say they didn’t want to over-cover their own employees. How can any editor worth a bleeping bleepity bleep possibly fail to cover a story of a beating like this one? By any measure, any standard, and all common sense, this is news.

Once again, “journalistic ethics” in this country appears to be a massive oxymoron.

News should not be spiked. This was an example of spiked news. For shame.

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