Monday, February 11, 2013

Violence as a chance to promote an issue, as featured on Democracy Now

Democracy Now headlines their lead segment today, "Wanted for Killing 3, Christopher Dorner’s Claims of Racism, Corruption Resonate with LAPD’s Critics."

Ok, well, indeed, yeah. But.

There are competing interests in these situations. On the one hand, reporting some about what the "demands" are of the party, in this case Mr. Dorner, is appropriate. It is relevant. On the other hand, going too far to give the issue a platform, and effectively rewarding the violence, is a mistake.

Where exactly the line is, I'm not sure. But to me, Democracy Now covering this this way seems definitely over the line.

There are effectively infinite opportunities to cover police wrongdoing, and many opportunities to cover police wrongdoing at the big departments. Sometimes there are news hooks, and sometimes there aren't. Democracy Now has covered -- if not broken -- a lot of these stories, and I bet they will continue to. I sure hope they do. But they don't need to, and shouldn't, jump on the publicity of Dorner.


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