Thursday, March 26, 2009

Empathy and the media

I have to admit first off that I am can't remember a lot of the coverage that was given to the subjects which involve empathy like we talked about. I was too young to understand what was going on for most of them, and with the more recent ones, I tend to fall asleep during the nightly news, which is my major source of news. So, I have to admit I am a little behind the times, which is awful for a journalist student to say.
I have seen enough news to know that empathy can be a touchy subject. If we as journalists focus too much on providing the victims or suspects with empathy, then we create a biased opinion and don't report the news as fair and accurate as we could. But, I do feel it is necessary to remember those you are writing about and that they are humans too. They have feelings and a life and a story can quickly ruin their lives and reputation.
Another side of empathy comes when reporters cover topics such as Rwanda, Iraq and other war torn areas. Through good reporting the American people can start to feel empathy for those who are suffering through these unbelievable circumstances. We can't know what is happening clear across the world without the help of journalism and the more informed we are, the better equipped we will be the bring about a positive change.
Journalists have to show the good news, the bad news and the horrible news, however hard it may be. The hardest news to report and show is the news that hits people the hardest and causes people to stop being armchair quarterbacks and become active members of a good cause.

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