Posted by cool_ambo on September 21st, 2010 | 0 comments
Media says : “The public has the right to know”
Government says : “National interest comes first”
And so goes the age-old struggle to determine what would media do under specific circumstances and what would the government do to regulate the actions of the media.
Media strives for the truth, the government strives for sobriety. Media has the truth for a shield. Government has the courts for control.
Forums and discussions and investigations could not, would not be able to resolve this issue. The quest for the guidelines for the actions of the media has been elusive, though, probably even illusive. This is true when events that come about forces the issue of truth and national interest to come to the fore. Such events are more pronounced in the cases of hostage taking and hijacking.
In these events, the public is split as to which side they favor, the airing of the events or the restraints for national interest. The public is at a lost as to what really should the media do.
“Would she or wouldn’t she?
Should she or shouldn’t she?
The lacking doubt,
Probably the most powerful thing in the world!”**
Media would say : “we never would have known the truth had we not aired the event as it happens”
Government would say : ‘oh yeah sure, and look what happened after you aired the
Why don’t we think about it this way—-News is the lifeblood of every media person. News is the spark that inebrietes his senses and he goes for the media as ducks go to water. News is not merely an affinity with newsmen, it is an obssession. Oftentimes he wouldn’t care much if he goes against his better judgement on national interest. It is the NEWS, that’s why, and the public has to know.
Let me put it this way—-newsmen, commonly called mediamen, or mediapersons as the case may be, should do better if they leave well enough alone the events that are unfolding. Let them be as observers. Let them be mere watchers. Let them be bystanders.
Move farther away from the events unfolding. Use zoom lenses and telescopic mikes. If they believe that they should have done something to prevent somebody from doing bad, then they have been watching too close. They should stay farther back. They should be mere eavesdroppers of the events.
Comes now the rule of the thumb for the media—–Don’t do anything to affect the outcome of the events. Do not influence the results. Let history run its course.
And there we would have not only the guidelines for the media to follow, but the guiding principles for the media to keep in mind. With this, media can’t go wrong.
**(David Niven in The Apartment)