It’s been an interesting week for youth in the media. We’ve had 2 very different cases that have prompted heated discussion for very different reasons.
First, the chk-chk-bang chick whose name we shall not mention – her catch phrase is surely her most endearing characteristic. If the rumours are anything to go by Channel 9 head honcho’s obviously saw more in her after her ACA interview – they’ve supposedly offered her a job. What bad deed did we do to deserve you Australian television?
Yet again our more interesting and intelligent public figures don’t get a look in… Kate Langbroek’s had some interesting comments about the role of intelligent women on Australian TV. There seems to be very little tolerance for it. If Chk-chk-bang gets a job, I’ll rest my case.
On the other hand Chk-chk-bang did raise some serious issues about the state of journalism.
With speed of delivery becoming a more important part of reporting, there is bound to be some loss of journalistic integrity. In some situations journalists are relying on tools such as wikipedia & twitter as their one & only source. This lack of fact checking from reliable sources isn’t good news as one social experiment showed.
A final year sociology student Shane Fitzgerald placed a fabricated quote on Wikipedia when the French composer Maurice Jarre passed away. The quote appeared in obituaries and articles in British, Indian and Australian newspapers. The hoax remained uncovered for weeks until Fitzgerald emailed the newspapers to advise of the hoax. Many newspapers retracted the quote however it remained in tact on many other websites and newspapers.
Citizen journalism is more ubiquitous than ever with tools such as the Internet, mobile phones, digital cameras and blogs giving everyone a voice. As a result, we have witnessed the Mumbai bombings unfold via Twitter, heard first hand accounts of a plane landing on the Hudson River almost immediately and even watched amateur footage of the recent Victorian bush fires.
Reporting carries a degree of responsibility and as citizen journalists we need to produce factual content that can be verified by other sources. Obviously we would hope that honesty and courtesy are present in eye witness accounts – but as we’ve discovered this week this isn’t always the case.
While many of us had a laugh is it right that a liar may walk away with a career. And would we be so welcoming if she did this at the stabbing of good Samaritan Luke Mitchell? Should we tolerate it? Should the police tolerate this? Obviously the police wasted time tracking down Chk-chk-bang to discovered she fabricated the entire affair. I guess we shall watch with bated breath as the story continues to unfold – or not.
I’m sure someone who takes the responsibility of journalism very highly is the new editor of The Monthly. We learnt this week that The Monthly will be edited by 23 year old super genius Ben Naparstek. He doesn’t like being called a ‘wonder-kid’ or ‘boy genius’. And a quick fact check of his age reveals yes he certainly is an adult. But that doesn’t make the news any less jaw-dropping! I look forward to seeing the direction of The Monthly particularly the role of the editorial board. The most recent editor, Sally Warhaft resigned after continual disputes with the editorial board. The final straw being about who should write the introduction for last month’s cover. This is definitely a ‘watch this space’ topic.
So the under-25s certainly hit the news this week. I wonder who we’ll be talking about next week.
Until then have a great weekend!
the c word