The Spring 2013 issue of the Emerson-produced Media Ethics online magazine has been released, featuring essays about the media’s coverage of the upcoming trial of Wikileaks source Bradley Manning, and the use of social media in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, among other topics.
In the essay, “Changing the Focus of Reporting from Smart Phones to Emo-Journalism,” Emerson Trustee Gary Grossman ’70, an author, Emmy Award-winning television documentarian, and former print and TV journalist, wrote that social media’s influence over news coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings—rife with errors—is an example of things to come.
“Our hyper-Googled media landscape has no hard and fast news deadlines,” Grossman wrote. “Citizen journalists compete with traditional media. They both shoot , hit ‘Send,’ and upload to the world.”
Grossman also discussed the increase in “Emo-journalism,” short for “emotional journalism,” where TV reporters often insert themselves into a story by helping those in need. He cited an example of CNN’s Anderson Cooper rescuing a child in post-earthquake Haiti.
In the essay, “Waiving Private Manning,” Edward Wasserman, dean of the University of California Berkeley’s graduate school of journalism, said the media is largely ignoring the upcoming trial of Wikileaks source Manning despite benefiting from his actions by reporting much of the information he allegedly leaked.
“The government hasn’t said what harm, if any, Manning’s leaks did to this country… and the media have done astonishingly little to explore the harms and benefits,” Wasserman wrote. “Even though [the media] were his beneficiaries, they can’t, by and large, be bothered to send reporters to cover the trial.”
Wasserman also compared the government’s treatment of Manning in prison as torturous, “with a cruelty that no animal shelter would tolerate,” and the media’s lack of coverage on that angle.