Thursday, September 30, 2010

Watch Your Mouth, Literally: The Insider on Bad Journalism

          Like the popular English-novelist, Graham Greene, once stated, "Media is a word that has come to mean bad journalism." Journalists, whether they are broadcasters, reporters, or editors, can end up being convenient prey of culpability when the stories they publish rouse public controversy. Since archaic times, dating back to the first airing of BBC News and Newsreel, it is a known fact, "the bigger the issue, the bigger the blame." However, not only do journalists fall to the woes of this ever-so-truthful statement, innocent victims such as everday people become liable the moment they open their immaculate mouths. It appears that any presence of critical thought and reasoning has been replaced by mediocrity and journalists have convinced themselves of the lie that the audience is really as feeble-minded as they are. This falls under the perception of very bad journalism, considered today simply by the term: journalism.

          Recently, I was able to recognize and establish the deviations of journalism between "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly." By gaining an understanding that these seemingly good, yet likewise, bad journalists, are merely doing their job, pushing you to your limits, it is purely a matter of being understood. There is a great journalistic value in what they create; the question lies in what will be remembered.

          However, more people tend to remember the bad rather than the good.

          Like a ghastly scab festering on your skin that will not go away until it receives proper treatment, bad journalists generally maintain this same mentality. Their vileness can come at any given moment since they are always alert for the formation of possible new stories. Because of this, they can lure you into becoming quite comfortable in their presence without you even thinking twice. At this point, it is especially important to watch your mouth...literally.

          By the twist and turn of words, manipulation from these bad journalists can come darting towards one like a speeding bullet. Feeling as if that ten-foot target now lies center on your forehead, it soon becomes a matter of how quick one can think on their feet. In sticky situations, "One must try to be positive, not negative." Bad journalists want you to get caught up in your words so they can twist them around even more and make you out as the culprit. But this does not always have to be the result. Responses such as, "Well I can't possibly agree with that, we have achieved (list of accomplishments to rub in their face)" or "This is a really interesting question, I am so glad you asked me that" generally leave these journalists baffled and at a loss for words. These comebacks come darting back towards them just like they did to you just moments before. Furthermore, this works exceptionally well when delivered with a gracious smile upon one's tranquil face. By remaining calm, you soon can become in control of the situation.

          Alongside remaining calm and in control, preparation is the absolute key. Using the "Three-Things" concept, preparing three good examples and three good messages for what you would like others to get out of your interview, this will limit controversy that bad journalists are hoping to stir up. As long as one can stay steps ahead of these spiteful journalists, nothing can deter you from giving an incredible interview.

          Bad journalists will continue to crawl under your skin if you let them, just like that bothersome scab. But with help from these useful tips, one can stop them before they begin to spread too far. By giving them a taste of their own medicine, this seems to do the trick.

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