I’ll never forget the words of my news writing professor at the University of Central Florida over a decade ago: “It is always important to remain objective when writing or reporting your story. Never inject your opinion, and never editorialize on air.” Boy how things have changed….
How and where people receive their news has changed dramatically since I went to school. There are so many 24 hour news outlets, talk radio stations, websites, podcasts, newspapers, magazines, and of course social media has blown up with twitter becoming a huge source of rumors, I mean news as well. But within these arenas, what happened to objectivity? Does anyone just paint the picture, and tell the facts?
My husband pointed out this article to me posted on USA Today’s website by writer Bob Kravitz whose column stated that Dwyane Wade’s elbow in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals was malicious.
He’s a columnist, much like Gregg Doyel and obviously entitled to his opinion. But what really struck me was his byline at the bottom of the page, Kravitz also is a writer of the Indianapolis Star. Aaaah, it all makes sense now doesn’t it?
There have also been several debates during this series about the Indiana Pacers radio announcer calling HEAT fans “losers”. Their PR guy David Benner tweeting his disdain for the HEAT’s PA announcer. This is where the objectivity line has distinctly been blurred. Are twitter accounts direct reflections of the person’s employer? Should a team employee be allowed to voice his opinion of the other teams fans? If you are going by “old school” news rules, no.
But this is a new generation, and the rules change daily. The race to report latest headline has become an hourly competition. A generation where news anchors actually tell people’s twitter stats when describing them. Really…we need to know how many twitter followers a person has? As if that really defines us. And twitter…don’t get me started. It’s like high school all over again…a rumor mill and popularity contest all rolled into one. Though I do love the convenience twitter allows, all my favorite writers and their articles in one place, I still never trust it 100% as a true news source.
The bottom line is we all have to be smart about where and how we receive our stories. Just because someone shouts their opinion as loud as possible doesn’t mean we have to agree…or even listen.
Joe Casale explores another angle of this issue much more eloquently here…check it out! http://www.pageqsports.com/2013/05/mark-boyle-and-greg-doyel-when-storytellers-become-the-story/