what would you do?

Today’s Times column by Nick Kristof has an excellent example of the kind of cases of interest in this class, cases that balance the public interest with the right to privacy.  Take a look and see how you would respond to the hypotheticals.

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5 Responses to “what would you do?”

  1. ashley nelcy Says:

    Just like kristof i would have supported his idea of publishing the case about the coach. I think that it is important to keep people informed about the issues that not only happen in other places but that could happen in our own community. If this issues would not be revealed we would live in a society full of corrupted people and no one would do anything about it just becasue they might want to ‘commit suicide.’

  2. Rachael Abrams Says:

    At first I was thinking yes, yes, yes. However after thinking about it I thought yes, no, yes. For the first one I think yes because it is a dangerous situation. I don’t think it can worsen the anti-foreign prejudices-it can’t get any worse. For the second case, I would say no because the case went to trial a long time ago and there is not much to do now. For the last one I would because if he goes to another school after the one he is currently at it will cause problems. Just be sure the guy gets psychological help the minute the article is published.

  3. Jordan Thomas Says:

    Shouldn it not be a journalists primary goal be to share the truth? Should not a disregard of ‘right and wrong’ key in spreading light on cut and dry facts for the benefit of mass knowledge always come first?

    It seems to me in the scenarios the best thing to do would always to be share what is known, but also leave open-ended questions to the things not yet discovered.

    People will form their own opinions, but a writers job should be to write about what he or she knows.

    Maybe it is my lack of real life experience in the field of journalism to know what I would do in actuality, but in theory I believe I would always share what I know for the sake of collective and truthful news.

  4. Julianne Wooten Says:

    After reading both the example interest cases and Kristof’s response to each article, I am torn on what exactly is the best way to approach each situation. For the first article I had to ask myself whether I would publish such an article were the citizens from America. Yes, is my answer. I believe the public has a right to know if they have a potentially threatening situation near them or their family, regardless of source of the threat. In regards to the Jon Benet article, I feel like we aren’t given enough information on which to report. Without knowing whether the man has some kind of criminal history I cannot say with absolute certainty that I would or would not open this story to the public. Although, I do feel that since the case has been through so many different failed suspects at different times, that unless this man had very a very suspicious background, I don’t believe I would have it published. After reading about the high school coach I can say without hesitation that I would publish the article. Not only is he under investigation now, but he has been in similar situations three other times. I have to think about the girls and parents of the next school to which he could move. They deserve to know about this man and the harm he has done in the past.

  5. Ashley Henson Says:

    After reading the three hypothetical cases Kristof posted, my initial response was that I would break each story without hesitation. As one of the above posters stated, isn’t it the primary goal of journalists to share what they know? But as I read that Kristof would not have reported on the Ramsey case it caused me to reevaluate my own opinion. It’s true that the Ramsey case doesn’t invovle any public policy concerns and therefore technically shouldn’t be a pressing news story, but in today’s media any major news network would report it without a second thought as to whether it’s necessary to do so. This particular case forces me to wonder, where should journalists draw the line in what they report? Should a valuable news story be only the facts that might affect people, or can reporting on a story mean finding topics that offer no real news but will grab the attention of the public? And if that’s the case, where can we find the distinction between what is actually news worthy and what belongs in the tabloids?

    I believe this to be the problem with many of today’s news sources, especially broadcast. Many will abandon the pressing issues to cover trivial matters with likenesses to pieces found in People Magazine or Entertainment Tonight. I regularly watch CNN and unfortunately most of the time it’s difficult to distinguish between the news and gossip.

    Though the Ramsey case is not gossip, Kristof’s reason for not reporting on it made me second-guess my reasons for why I would. Whether journalism should remain black-and-white facts or not, I believe that journalists have a responsibility to report what they know to the public and to better inform them of the world.

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