Friday, September 22, 2017

Journalism 101 -- We are NOT the story

I'm a journalism guy, but I firmly believe we should go out of our way to not be the story. It was pounded into me in j-school, it was pounded into me by my first editor at a small but really good Mississippi daily newspaper. I still believe it, I still preach it. Yes, there are exceptions, but our audience wants to know about the story, not about us. Plus it makes us look like snowflakes.

So we have this Atlanta TV station story about the bonding out of three students who protested the Georgia Tech police shooting of a troubled student. Watch the video yourself. I don't think the hed on the web site seen to the left about protester curses the media is really the story here. It's a basic making bail story, the kind we do all the time, but him tossing a few expletives in a journalist's direction is hardly news. Jeez, if I made a story about every time I'd been cursed at as a reporter I'd never have time for real news.

Watch the story, decide for yourself if this is the hed that really deserves to be on there. I suppose it is clickbaity because, face it, we all love seeing those damn journalists getting cursed at. But I'm not a clickbaity guy.

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