Off Beat: Where has the decency gone in the media?
Today the Ottawa Sun released their paper for the city of Ottawa, and on it was the following:
Granted it isn’t as graphic as some other newspapers in the past, say on September 12, 2001 in most US cities following the attacks in New York City, however the pictures in those papers were meaningful and needed to be shown to help tell the story. Besides as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.
However what the Ottawa Sun did this morning was downright wrong. There is no decency in this at all, not just the picture but the headline was downright wrong. How in the world did the editors of this paper let this slide? I know one thing, I surely would not have.
But then again I only run a blog and I am not responsible for timely news, and what news should make the front cover. But even still I think there is a certain ethic that should be followed and it is followed here. Because I can pretty much post anything I want to without worry, I can venture on any topic but my topics are typically clean and so is the language. I choose this type of blog for this site, there is no need for swearing, being rude, or being negative, if we wanted that we could go to pretty much any other site and get that.
Don’t get me wrong, there will be criticism on our site, but not to a point where it sounds negative, it is or will be intended to be constructive on how to better something. Let me give this quick example, I used to be a moderator on the EA Sports Forums in the NHL section and there was plenty of people who would complain about something in the game, but typically never offered any feedback on how it can or should be fixed, and to me, what is the point of having negative feedback, and not offer a way on how you would like it to be fixed? It really just defeats the purpose because it comes off as negative as opposed to offering feedback. And don’t get me wrong the EA version of the NHL series is not perfect, but it is much better than it once was.
Back to the topic at hand here, I feel as if the media gets away with a lot. I have observed their coverage in a lot of different ways. From news media, to sports media, and everything in between. Media coverage is just absolute garbage these days, if it isn’t spreading false information, it’s shoving a political agenda down our throats. Let’s be honest for a minute here, when was the last time you tuned into a major news network and found all news without any type of discussion attached to it? Just hard facts, none of that we’ll give you our version of the story and talk about it in some fashion, and it is usually a discussion that ties in politics to the story without it being necessary.
And it isn’t just mainstream news, sports channels, namely ESPN push their agenda onto the viewer too, ESPN has sadly turned itself into the sports form of TMZ which has really made the network hard to watch. I typically find myself watching the top of the hour for their headlines of the sports world and then I will find something entertaining to watch since typically it’s either the NBA, Lebron James, Brett Favre, or Brett Favre trying out for an NBA team, or some insanely agenda driven top headline. Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate having something to cover, but I think balance is also key especially for a revolving sports world.
I will finish by saying this, while we might not have to deal with delivering news all day, every day like the news sites and I respect that it is hard when people want all the information right away, I mean I learned that over the last 3 weeks covering the horrific Boston Marathon mess. So in doing that I can appreciate a mistake or two along the way, but I do try to offer accurate news as needed, so I don’t care if I am first with a report, or last, it needs to be accurate. And we do it without involving any other things that can add to a story such as a political angle for why it happened, and so fourth.
Outside of the news, we do mostly opinion blogs, so most of our content is enjoyable, respectable, responsible, and/or informative pieces on this site.
Even if the post is just a video with a brief description there is a lot that goes into the post. Firstly we have to make sure it is a suitable piece, and if not, is it still able to be posted? I went through this process with the Grand Theft Auto V Character trailer, I had to make a decision whether to post it or not, and if I did how would it need to be presented. Don’t get me wrong the trailer is not obscene but it had some things in it that people might object to such as profanity and in Franklin’s trailer a few clips from a strip club. So I had to present a warning label that warned people of these things. This is partly a video game site so I had to post it but also I had to make sure others weren’t exposed to something they might object to, which is where the respectful and responsible nature of the site comes into play.
The main goal for my posts and this site is to be a quick stop and an enjoyable one. I will never sell out on that goal, even if we get our own domain name, we will remain this way, it is the best way to go about it in my opinion. Let the reader decide what side of the story they fall on, not shove our own views into focus, we will offer them but they won’t be force fed to the reader like in other web sites. And that is simply just good practice.