ImMEDIAte needs Good news and bad news.

Osky News

Editors Note: The views and opinions expressed in this editorial are not necessarily the views or opinions of Osky News

First, the good news.

We live someplace where we can take things for granted. I was reminded of this when the Wall Street Journal told the story of a judge in Quito, Ecuador who jailed three newspaper executives and a columnist for “defamatory libel.” Essentially, they wrote bad things about the president of Ecuador. President Correa sued and now those responsible for publishing the article are going to jail and paying ten million dollars in fines. The case is being appealed.

Our news media sometimes get it wrong, due to neglect, unprofessionalism, lying or merely making a mistake. However, our courts understand that the privilege of a free press might be abused by some. But those abuses must be tolerated to allow those that use the First Amendment as intended–to keep watch on the government and others in power–to feel free to publish without the fear of being jailed.

Now, the bad news.

Maybe we get what we deserve.

There is so much uproar about alleged grievously unethical acts by employees of Rupert Murdoch at News Corp. We are righteously appalled at the phone tapping of many Brits and perhaps of some Americans. It is not surprising that the people who give us Fox News may have used poor journalistic judgment. What is surprising is that anyone is upset by this.

Few seemed upset that our news networks went wall to wall with coverage of Casey Anthony. We were transfixed by the exploits of Tiger Woods. For reasons that can not be identified, the Enquirer publishes two editions per year letting people know who is gay in Hollywood. There is hardly a clamoring for solid, traditional, quality journalism. There is a satisfaction with trash, the trivial, the material that injures the families involved and should be irrelevant to the rest of us.

So maybe the people at News Corp just wanted to give us what we asked for, what we deserve. News Corp went out of their way, using methods we were warned against in our introductory journalism courses, to bring us what we ask for. It seems a double standard–any sleaze is acceptable, regardless of the level of privacy that is invaded. Trash is good. But don’t collect the trash in a bad way–that offends us.

Richard Vogel – Oskaloosa

Posted by on Jul 31 2011. Filed under Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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