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Author Topic: Is this unethical  (Read 636 times)

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Online AndyZTopic starter

Is this unethical
« on: September 19, 2012, 06:49:03 AM »
By now, you've probably heard about the media questions coordination to go after Romney.

Open Mic Catches Reporters Coordinating Romney Questions

Here's a transcript:

Quote from: http://www.therightscoop.com/exclusive-open-mic-captures-press-coordinating-questions-for-romney-no-matter-who-he-calls-on-were-covered/
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: …pointing out that the Republicans… *unintelligible* …Obama….

CBS REPORTER: That’s the question.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: *unintelligible*

CBS REPORTER: Yeah that’s the question. I would just say do you regret your question.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Your question? Your statement?

CBS REPORTER: I mean your statement. Not even the tone, because then he can go off on…

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: And then if he does, if we can just follow up and say ‘but this morning your answer is continuing to sound…’ – *becomes unintelligble*

CBS REPORTER: You can’t say that..

**Later**

CBS REPORTER: I’m just trying to make sure that we’re just talking about, no matter who he calls on we’re covered on the one question.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you stand by your statement or regret your statement?

So, do people consider this ethical or unethical?  Should the media coordinate in order to collaborate their actions, or should each media source be working separately?

Personally, I'm rather leery of the idea that various different companies working together for pretty much anything.  I don't want Pepsi and Coke meeting up to coordinate, let alone news companies.  What do others think?

Online Caitlin

Re: Is this unethical
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2012, 09:16:15 AM »
What's the harm if they do it to both sides of the election? I'm guessing they're coordinating similar things to Obama. I do think that it hurts the independant news gathering, but at the same time it forces a politician to pay close attention to what he says.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Is this unethical
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2012, 09:18:05 AM »
I would only consider it unethical if the reporters were working out a scenario to harass or entrap the person being questioned; in other words setting them up to look foolish or a liar.  Some press conferences are very limited for time and reporters getting together to parcel out the questions they really want answered without a lot of confusion or wasted time could be a good thing.

Offline Valerian

Re: Is this unethical
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2012, 09:24:25 AM »
*shrugs*  It's either this sort of thing, or let Romney duck every question that he doesn't like until election time.  Neither is exactly ideal, but I'd rather err on the side of knowing (if that's even possible when the person in question changes his position five times in twelve hours), and as mentioned above, some questions really need answering.  And a press conference is not investigative journalism, which is where it would definitely be better to have reporters working independently.

News outlets are not nearly as directly competing as any other sorts of companies, anyway, and haven't been for a long time, so that isn't the best comparison.  Many people think they have two or more separately-owned newspapers in their city, for example, but that's almost never true.  Conglomerates own something like 80% of all newspapers.  Companies like Gannett used to, as a matter of course, move into a city and undercut any competing papers, running at a loss until the other papers went under and Gannett could take over the entire flow of news by buying them out.  Similar ownership situations exist with most other media.

In other words, most journalists are all working for the same people anyway, so they're always collaborating to an extent.  It just isn't usually this obvious.

http://www.dailysource.org/about/problems#.UFnUBrKPXIc

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Is this unethical
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2012, 09:33:46 AM »
Our city has one major daily newspaper and three major television stations along with an ever-changing list of radio media.  Add to that the number of nationals in print, television and radio along with the internet sources for current news and there is more competition among reports to pad their resumes and get sound/print bites that there is to get the story.  Any video coverage of an event will show a group of reports and microphones.

I would thing that the conversation regarding the questions could encompass who asks which question so they all get a good chance and a good comment from the person being questioned.  Unless the feed is coming live to your television or computer there is nothing to stop a revision to make it appear the reporter for the station airing the story asked the question.

As has been said, I don't care who asks the question as long as the right question gets asked.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Is this unethical
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2012, 01:32:40 PM »
Wait, -this- is what Rush was crying foul about? Making sure the question - "Do you stand by your statement or regret your statement?" gets asked?

I'm sorry, what, exactly, is the problem with getting an answer to that question? The man is running for President. Of the United States. He's said a number of things that, in my mind and the minds of many others, are pretty vile. Whether he was speaking out of emotion at a given point, and, after reflection, realizing he was in the wrong, would show a man that - even if he is not sincerely apologetic, can show that he can acknowledge that he has flaws which all humans share, and is both willing and capable of addressing them. A regretful statement would have done him some good in the eyes of some voters that he's not in a position to lose.

We've had mush for journalism in this country and we get one solid instance of it actually being executed and people flip. Then they go home and wonder why this country is such a mess, or blame it on 'the libruls'.

Online AndyZTopic starter

Re: Is this unethical
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2012, 02:05:20 PM »
Going to leave this open and not comment too much on the responses, but thank you all for your input.

Offline Shjade

Re: Is this unethical
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2012, 03:11:51 PM »
No.

Whether pre-arranged or spontaneous, the exchange could have come about with minimal differences. Arranging things beforehand just ensures efficiency in reaching the desired point. If everyone involved wanted to get there anyway I doubt that working independently would have altered the outcome by much.

And, even if it did, cooperative efforts of this sort aren't a bad thing. It's just collaborative investigation, basically. I think of it as similar to a private detective and the local police department working together on a case that has them both puzzled; they're not officially on the same team, but everyone wants the same thing in the end regardless.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Is this unethical
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2012, 03:15:46 PM »
"Media guilty of trying to make political candidate less wishy-washy!"

The only people you're going to convince with an attack like that are those already singing in your choir, and then only to give a sense of doubt.

Offline Stattick

Re: Is this unethical
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2012, 03:51:46 PM »
The Republican propaganda machine (Fox News, Clear Channel Radio, Wall Street Journal, etc) does this too. At least the mainstream media is fairly honest about what they report, instead of lying about everything to make the GOP look like saints while demonizing everyone else.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Is this unethical
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2012, 04:47:23 PM »
I will agree that the media does leave out a lot about Obama that Obama is quite happy to have not talked about.

Fox doesn't call him out on it either. Nor does Clear Channel, which is owned in part by Mitt Romney.

I don't think the fight for making things more transparent is lost, but certainly, it does no good to allow the perception that Fox and NBC are on opposite sides to continue unopposed.

Offline elone

Re: Is this unethical
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2012, 11:12:26 PM »
As we saw in the Republican debate, the questions really don't matter that much when it comes to Mitt Romney.

This when asked about not answering a question.


During the Republican debates, Mitt Romney told a moderator "You get to ask the questions you want. I get to give the answers I want."

Offline Chelemar

Re: Is this unethical
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2012, 03:02:47 PM »
I listened to the recorded conversation,  A few things were left out such as:
A third voice can be heard saying to the woman whom could be heard speaking:

"Your mic is on, you can here what, everything you are saying."

She basically said, "so? then gave the quoted answer "
We're just talking about no matter who he calls on, we're just covered on that one question"  Had it been unethical, I would I bet they would have apologized, been embarrassed, done something other than continue to go on with the discussion.

Also, if you listen, the "translation" isn't all correct.

the "unidentified" voice at one point refers to comments made by Romney's "aids this morning."  Not "but this morning your answer is continuing to sound…"

It appears the reporters know each other, and wanted to make sure that question got answered.  There are a lot of inside things in all professions that happen that outsiders don't know about or understand.  This is one of them.  Not one of the reporters there said, "Hey, don't decide between you who asks what!"