Thursday, February 12, 2009

Talk me down, please

One of the biggest stories in the news lately has been the birth of octuplets in California. Sure, by sheer number, this is an interesting story. The birth of so many children to one woman at once is fascinating. The first few days of coverage I could understand but this story keeps going and going. First it was discovered she is a single mother, has six other children and lives with her parents. So what? Whether or not she will be able to properly care for her children is a question on everyone's mind but it is not journalists' job to declare her fit or not. Then people start to wonder about the ethics behind her doctor and whether he violated rules of practice. That is something entirely different and if they think it's suspicious enough to merit investigation, I can understand but that is another story. But now, the media are investigating the woman – her debt, money she receives for the government, etc. Last night, news organizations investigated whether or not she has had plastic surgery to look more like Angelina Jolie. Tell me, where is the story here? And what makes it our business?

Now, she hasn't been hiding from the media at all – doing television interviews, taking cameras to see her babies and starting a Web site asking for money – but still, I don't see why this has garnered so much media attention and how we see fit to investigate her personal life and finances. I believe the ethics here are questionable.

1 comment:

  1. Arie, I am right there with you. It is unethical for a journalist to decide if she is fit to care for these kids. It might be an actual issue, but the way the story has been reported is so subjective. They should have just gave the facts, readers aren't stupid, they can draw their own conclusions. Plastic surgery has not one thing to do with this story, there is absolutely no news value in it. It is almost just pandering to lurid curiousity, and I am firing the journalists who reported this story. Twice.