Can't Cover Crisis

Recently in my Journalism 101 class the Assistant Professor of E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Yusuf Kalyango, spoke of the difficulty journalists in America (or rather, in general) have with reporting on a crisis situation. He noted that when they cover crises they tend to ignore their journalistic role. The reason, he explained, is that journalists haven't ever experienced this particular tragedy or crisis so, naturally they become emotionally attached because that's human nature.

Now, traditionally emotion shouldn't ever be brought into the story, but as humans it is almost impossible sometimes to do that. So instead of negatively letting your emotions affect the story, journalists should use it to help convey the message to the public. How? Well the goal of a journalist is to keep the people informed to tell the people how to deal with situations and find a solution. Instinct is a good thing to have to help get to a solution. Instinct, at it's high point, does involve emotion. So it's a formula then...Instinct times emotion plus a storyline equals the possible solution to convey to the public.

So maybe the lesson shouldn't be to avoid emotion at all costs and not keep away from stories that you could possibly invest emotion into. Maybe it should be that when you find yourself emotionally invested in a story...you need to utilize it in a good and postive journalistic way and keep in mind your goals as a journalist.

No comments: