Aside

Issues in Journalism – Accountability In Media

Media coverage over national events and scandals bring about the need for consistent scrutiny over facts put to print. However, in several instances newspapers have prioritized swiftness over accuracy in an effort to be the first to publicize events.

The instance in scrutiny occurred during the events of the April 2013 Boston Bombings in which the New York Post published an image that was circulated throughout social media websites, labelling them as wanted suspects.

NYP

This decision was quickly condemned by other news publications and the FBI themselves, in which they asked the public to view only its pictures or risk creating “undue work for vital law enforcement resources.”

In a case much closer to home, a man was recently accused of being a paedophile on social media as reported by the Herald Sun. The backlash felt against the accuser has led to her redacting her posts as best she could as she dealt with the social impact her actions had. Yet it’s still very odd and obvious in how the newspaper keeps pursuing the case, with ‘Men feeling under siege after revelation man was wrongly accused on Facebook of being a creep‘ and an additional opinion piece condemning the ridiculous mindset that ‘Not every man with a camera is a paedophile‘.

Under the pretence of reporting a scandal, it seems as if the paper is encouraging exaggeration and witch-hunts in condemning the actions of the woman in question. Only a single article painted her in a slightly favourable light while the others addressed the embellished pandemic that ‘all men are branded paedophiles’.

Hypocritical at best, the accuser’s name has been occasionally plastered throughout the comment section and over social media of the publications. While it looks like the moderation team has taken the week off, very few publications are addressing the fact that she has allegedly received death-threats for her actions to the point where she claims “My children are going through an enormous amount of pain [because of this] and I hate to think what [the man] and his family are going through,” to the Knox Leader.

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