Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Bad Journalism

On Monday, a story broke about a car accident in a small town near Stratford, Ont. Being billed as one of the worst accidents in Ontario's history, it involved a flat-bed truck and a passenger van. Eleven people died.

Immediately it was implied the truck driver was at fault. The headline on the TV screen said truck slams into passenger van. How did they know this? The police didn't know anything other than it was horrific – the truck driver was dead as were 10 people in the van.

The coverage of this accident was lengthy. A reporter was already at the scene and was talking about the area as well as describing the scene itself.

CP24, we are not CNN and for that we should all be grateful. CNN, and CP24 apparently, should be ashamed of the way they are covering news. They take a story and then have to make news up to fill the 24-hour coverage they have slotted for it.

I like info, but no story, particularly a breaking one, has enough information to allot it that much time. It becomes entertainment and news - especially disasters and tragedies - are not entertainment.

Perhaps CP24 instead, could have used their coverage time to explain to city folk the ways of the country. The passenger van was carrying migrant workers. Farmers, so city people know, hire migrant workers to work their fields.

New stations covering this story have made a point to mention the passenger van was filled with migrant workers each time this story comes up.

Why? What difference does it make who was in the van. They were people. Would it make it more or less sad it it was a van full of tourists or a van full of Canadians?

Journalists, think of your words. There is a reason why people distrust the media and this is it.

3 comments:

The Blonde Duck said...

Popped in from SITS! As a journalist, I'm ashamed.

Alison@Mama Wants This said...

I have so many peeves about the way media behaves, it'd have to be a blog post on its own!

Betty said...

I agree with you 100% but that's what some of these reporters want NEWS whether it's true or "just news".

Unfortunately, it wasn't the truck drivers fault, the man driving the van with the "migrant" workers ran a red light.... unfortunately the truck was in the way and husbands, fathers and sons died from one stupid driver.

Don't know if you saw the farmer being interviewed who employeed these migrant workers but he said he had to employee migrants because know one would do the work they did that was going into a chicken house and inject the chickens.... not only was it filthy, but was dirty and smelly. These "migrant" workers who needed the money to feed their families now they are dead. I just hope that Government and the employer take care of these families.