Journalism: exposing important issues with patience and understanding

A lot of press about celebrities I usually just ignore. Most of the time these stories are gossip, rumors, and who knows what those “journalists” or paparazzi’s did to get their story that will make a lot of money. Sadly, I don’t agree with a lot of journalists these days. I would be hesitant to call someone who follows a celebrity around a “journalist”. After thinking all of this, I realized how easily a journalist can make or break someone, something, or a situation.
This is going to sound ridiculous that I am even bringing this up, but the scandal about Chris Brown and Rihanna has been recently been handled in a very interesting way. Last week, Rihanna finally came out to the public about the truth of her situation with her ex-boyfriend, Chris Brown. She talked about her past, about domestic violence, and what really happened in the situation. In this interview with Good Morning America’s Diane Sawyer, Rihanna really exposed some issues that so many other women share with her– domestic violence and abuse. This made me remember why I want to be a journalist: to expose issues to the public.
Rihanna and Chris Brown are a perfect example as to why good journalism needs to be practiced. Domestic violence is a dangerous, and prominent issue that so many women deal with even in the U.S. It is a touchy issue because a lot of the time the victim will not want to expose the incident. In this case, the situation with Rihanna and Chris Brown was blown up in a matter of seconds due to the media. Journalists were trying to get their hands on any sort of information dealing with the couple and their situation. I feel like they were looking for anything, and not the truth.
It’s interviews like the one that Diane Sawyer conducted that represent good journalism. Some issues have to be waited out, and the story cannot develop unless you give it time– like this one dealing with domestic violence. Sometimes if you as a journalist really want to get a compelling, truthful story that will expose an issue, you have to have patience. Also, touchy subjects like these remind me to be understanding and ethical with your subjects as well. When there is a breaking news story that deals with disaster or a touchy issue (like domestic violence), you have to be ethical. For example, if Rihanna just got hit by her boyfriend, don’t shove a camera in her face, but rather interview witnesses that may have seen the event happen. Don’t always go directly to the main subject of the issue or disaster. Another example: if there was a fire, you wouldn’t go to a victim who just got badly burned, you would interview someone who saw the whole thing happen and wasn’t directly involved.
The lessons that I have learned from this scandal are this: as a journalist, be ethical, understanding and patient toward your subjects, and don’t be afraid to expose important issues.

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