Monday, July 06, 2009

What do you think???

I believe that this Congressman and possible Senate candidate is entitled to voice his opinion on the news coverage of Michael Jackson. I think that the timing might have been OFF in consideration of the Jackson family though....even if they do not currently know that it is being said at this time. I definitely object to reporters thinking that they can get statements from the family on this- I think that reporting it later would have been better and that the family would have had their "people" make a statement if they felt it was needed.

Thinking of the media, I started to wonder if there should be Bereavement Law governing when (and how) a reporter can question the grieving. Perhaps there could also be training/certification that one would have to go through to report on more sensitive topics. In other words, classes to teach the media Compassion.

Politicians could be required to take the Compassion Classes, too. Plus, there could be penalties for not following the rules set forth. The families involved can actually be emotionally scarred forever by some of efforts to get the "story" first.

Yes, I ask a lot. It is sad that I have to mention such a need at all. PASS BEREAVEMENT LAWS FOR MEDIA REPORTING FOLLOWING A DEATH. I will be so proud of media outlets and politicians if they do as they should in the first place....HAVE COMPASSION. The family of a celebrity should not be collateral damage in the fact that a celebrity has put their life on view.

Since I am talking about how I feel about this video being issued, I felt I should actually go and look at it. Below is what was said.


Annie said...

Well, he certainly did make some solid points but it's a shame that he reduced it all to name calling. No matter what we may think of Jackson's lifestyle, his was an amazing talent packaged within a tortured human being. I think it is highly unlikely that we will ever know the truth about MJ but his family certainly doesn't need to hear such stuff either. Classes in compassion should definitely be a job requirement for all media persons and politicians.

Indigo said...

are you participating in the July Mingle? Your button code is still for June.


Thanks. I had not noticed. I fixed it and submitted the form.

Thebluestbutterfly said...

Thank you for your input, Annie. After watching the video, I decided that I will try to showcase our world's everyday heroes more on my blog.

Mike Althouse said...

This a very complicated issue and there are really a many things to consider. First, if people were not demanding the kind of coverage we receive, we would not be getting it. There was once a time when the media's agenda setting role was much more prominent, but in the days of the 24-hour news cycle and the Internet, the media gets instantaneous input on what their readers want to see. The stories that get the hits get the coverage - that's how they know what "we're" interested in.

The second issue involves the legislated rights to privacy that public figures are entitled to. Although the families of public figures may not be, in fact, public figures themselves, that is not true of the Jackson family. Virtually all are, in the eyes of the law, "public figures" and as such do not have the same rights as private citizens. It can get a little fuzzy as to what makes one a public figure, but in this case there is little doubt. Libel and slander laws have very different criteria when it comes to the burden of proof for public figures.

Having said that, insensitive reporting - and individual opinions in general - are part of the Michael Jackson story. As a journalist - one who holds a degree in journalism, I can say that there are situations where personal convictions must be set aside - our employers pay us to get the story that sells and this one is a clear case. Personally, I am hoping this media blitz will fade, but as long as so many demand to know so much, reporters will do their job, no matter how distasteful they find it.

Morality is impossible to legislate.

Tanya sent me,



Thank you, Mike for giving me a lot to think about.

I am not sure about the reporters doing their job part. I feel like there are always professional options to write something that is not morally objectionable to oneself....if one persists in making efforts to do this.

Morality is impossible to legislate...that I do agree with. I do think that there should be laws about approaching people at specific times and places....particularly minors.

:-) 2009-06-11 daily 0.5 2009-06-11 daily 0.5