Friday, September 27, 2013

Dodger Fan Killed After Giants Game

Using what the Father heard from the son, without any other soruce. Is it ethical?


Haley Zaremba said...

I think it's ethically questionable to listen to the father's opinions at all, as he wasn't there and has a very clear bias. I would be concerned about making this peripheral source into a headline, since his opinion alone holds no water, but still has the potential to sway readers' opinion. Of course he has the right to say whatever he wants and the newspaper has the right to publish it, but should they? Is it really even newsworthy?

....J.Michael Robertson said...

Hmmm. I don't see an ethical problem. It is certainly newsworthy since the event got extensive coverage. I wish I had commented before the young man who did the stabbing was released since that release, in retrospect, suggests the police are - for the moment - accepting the dad's version of events, which he apparently got from his son. Writing before this recent turn of events, I would have said it's simply good journalism to let the parties to the incident have their say. I can't see how the police reading about statements that have already been made to them would somehow interfere with the investigation or make a fair trial less likely down the road. Also, from the journalist's point of view, it shows the reporter sought out those involved and gave them the opportunity to speak. It's the job. Indeed, a news organization could be accused of bias if it failed to quote the dad. Didn't the alleged assailant's family at some point criticize the press for bringing up an old DUI, suggesting that might poison opinion against the kid. Or was that the victim's dead man's family? That *is* a common complaint against some crime reports, that including past clashes with the law could somehow influence public opinion or expose past misdeeds that are irrelevant to the current accusations.