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Yellow Journalism
By Dana Reed   

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This is what I spoke against in my Journalism classes when I taught students in Adult Ed.

 

    I told my students to go for the real news stories and leave the trash for the gossip columns. Nowadays it's hard to teach that same theory when the journalists making the big bucks are writing trash. For example: the witch hunt over Tiger Woods. These not-so-honorable members of the media are taking the road to We Deserve the Truth, when in actuality it's none of their damn businesses.

    All over the news--the important stuff that manages to get through the trash--there are matters that are far more important. This week alone the president made a speech that was impressive because he explained his terms from start to finish in easy to understand English. There was no political double speak. Nor were there any parts of his speech that were flavored with sugar in an attempt to confuse. He was honest in stating the content of the many meetings attended before the final decision was made to send an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan. He inhereited a terrible mess, and is diligently trying to solve any and all problems caused by the former administration.

    This was but one story considered to be real news for real journalists.

     Another story I picked up this week, if followed, could well lead to a Senate Investigation. I happened on a news story about a woman who was in charge of ordering prosthetics for troops at Walter Reed Hospital. I came into the segment too late to get her name, which is my fault because what followed was a shocker. She showed a troop walking with a prosthetic leg that went from the knee down. The prosthetic was obviously poorly made since the young troop has to swing his left leg--with the prosthetic--to the left before putting it down. As he put it down, he had to pick his right foot up in a limping like stance. My thoughts were, she's proud of this?

    That, however, wasn't the shocker. Wearing a huge smile she noted that the prosthetics were 'so well made' that troops were often sent back to the front lines after installation. What's more, she claimed, the troops were given a backup prosthetic to take over with them in case the first one broke.

    This was so reminiscent of the Crusades when men with axes and heavy swords would cut off an enemies arm and the enemy soldier switched to his other arm and continued fighting.

    This was shocking, and I reiterate, this was a story that should have been followed. However it wasn't. Tiger Woods's personal life seems to be more important to all of the big money journalists.

    Please, when you practice journalism, go for the real news and leave the trash for the gossip columns, and for magazines like the Inquirer to follow.

 



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