Digital Dangers

Journalists who don’t get the social media game are dropping like flies.

The idea that we should be on Facebook and Twitter is sound enough.  They are the new “platforms” on which news can be broken and the next newscast promoted (“The 3,472nd study on whether that cup of joe is good or bad for you…at 5!”)  

But recently, a senior editor at CNN lost her job for expressing a personal opinion on Twitter that her bosses found way out of the parameters of journalistic propriety.  This has started a new debate on whether journalistic objectivity needs to be redefined.  (I’m quite happy to live by the definition I’ve grown up with.)

And then, there’s the huge mess at the NBC affiliate in Little Rock, Arkansas.  Three reporters and a news photographer were fired last week, after they posted a video on YouTube that shredded their very being as local TV news reporters.  Their sin wasn’t so much making fun of their profession (find a profession that doesn’t), but the way they did it.  They merrily dropped F-bombs all over Little Rock and the surrounding environs.    

The video has been removed from YouTube, but there’s a link to it in this article on the debacle.

I watched it.  And I wondered what the reporters who posted it to YouTube were thinking.  Once upon a time, it may have been an in-house joke.  A “gag reel” that never would have left the station.  But those days are long gone.  Post it on YouTube, and it’s not only out the door, but around the world.

In this digital era, it was an invitation to be fired.  Professional suicide.  You would think they would have known better.

Perhaps you can redefine objectivity, but common sense is the same as it ever was.


About Gerry

I've been covering Connecticut news and sports since 1974. I know, I don't look that old.
This entry was posted in Diatribes, Digital World, Media, News, TV Stuff and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Digital Dangers

  1. Mary says:

    It sounds simple, common sense. Not so much anymore.

  2. James says:

    Ger – As an old friend of mine is fond of saying – the problem with common sense is that it isn’t common!

  3. You head the nail on the head, Gerry. In house humor should be just that. In house ( Not out house )

  4. Mark says:

    Here is a simple rule: If you wouln’t say it in front of your Mom then you probrably shouldn’t say it at all.

  5. Cat says:

    They really got fired for this video?
    You know how they say 40 is now todays 30’s and so on.
    Well the F-bomb today is like our saying $hit back then.
    I watched the video and I have to say its probably the way many have felt in their jobs at one time or another.
    They never mentioned the company name (least not what I could hear), never showed a company logo, so what was the big deal?
    It did make me grin and in the end, I felt sorry for the guy, knowing his Florida dream would never come to light.
    Gerry, tell Kev I’m sorry to see him laid up, but from now on ~go with shorts from the waist down~ poor guy…… I do wish him well……….

    • Gerry says:

      Cat, will offer your suggestion to Kev. I’m his taxi for a few days.
      As for the video, the mic flag was blurred out, so you couldn’t see the call letters. His Florida dream may be dead, but I hear Minot, ND is lovely this time of year. In other words, he’s screwed.

  6. Cat says:

    Yes , indeed he is..
    However I will say this Gerry :
    Watching that video was far better than seeing a local reporter spitting out a “lu-gee” while awaiting to go on camera, if you know what I mean……. yuck..
    Careful with Kev now, hope he tips the driver well…….
    Enjoy the game tonight.

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