Tuesday, April 24, 2007

What is acceptable journalism?

The head of NBC News stated on the Oprah Winfrey Show that the decision to air images, writings and video of Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho was “good journalism”. NBC received a package from Cho with pictures, video, and writing, but only aired a fraction of the received content. This raises the issue of what is acceptable to air to the public. Is in news companies duties to report all the news, or should it controversial content be censored? There were reports that Virginia Tech students wanted the media to leave them alone. Some students even viewed the media as ‘vultures’ a negative term to describe the media’s fascination with death. In light of this and—to a much lesser degree—the Imus situation, what is acceptable on public media? Does freedom of speech only apply to private citizens? I just wondering about this.

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