JMS: Why TV?

 Posted on 10/27/1999 by to

>The reason I asked is that there's an ethical dilemma in "We Killed Them in
>Ratings" that I think is a thorny problem for any journalist in any media.

Exactly, which is why I chose to examine that particular question in the story;
I like questions that don't have particularly easy or facile answers. And this
is one of them.

There isn't any hard and fast rule. For instance: in recent years there were
two particular cases of self-immolation here in the US, both as protest but
also both were just a little bit not right in the head. one case, the reporter saw what was happening, and rolled film,
made no attempt to intervene. He was pilloried for his inaction and
inhumanity. In the other case, the other reporter saw what was happening,
grabbed a coat, and rushed to put the fire out...and was pilloried for getting
personally involved with the story instead of staying the "objective outsider,"
which in truth does not exist because the only way to be TRULY objective is to
not have any prior beliefs, convictions or experiences that would color one's

I don't think there is a right answer or perspective on the question...which
makes it fun to explore as a writer.


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