You’ve probably seen the video. A dramatic local news reporter who quit her job on air by dropping the theoretical microphone (aka the F-bomb) on live TV.
Some people are calling it funny and badass. I’m calling it unethical and disrespectful.
I’m not posting the video. Or her (fake TV) name. Or her pro-marijuana “business.” She doesn’t deserve that kind of exposure, not because of the cause, but because of the way she presented it.
The devastating impacts of what this reporter did are two-fold. On at least two occasions, she unethically produced stories involving an organization she apparently leads — without providing proper (or any) disclosure. That is a clear violation of journalistic ethics. Welcome to Journalism 101. Scratch that. Sophomore year of high school journalism class.
And at the time when she chose to out herself as the leader of said organization of a pro-marijuana group, it happened to be at the end of her final report, just before cursing to her television audience and crafting a moment she knew would go viral.
She created a disservice to the viewers of Alaska, shaking their credibility in the otherwise professional CBS affiliate, in an incredibly rude and selfish gesture.
The reporter has given multiple interviews — at least one to a paper, one to a news station — about why she exited her profession the way she did. I’ve only read short excerpts and have chosen not to watch any interviews, nor do I have any intentions to. But, to paraphrase her, she apologizes if anyone was offended by her words, but she has no regrets about what she did.
Her disrespectfulness continues.
What she did is shameful to all journalists, specifically broadcast. There’s an understood trust reporters inherit when given the opportunity to present news to the public. Reporters become a pillar of the community, a source of truth and a watchdog for the people.
And in a few short seconds with a few choice words, she took advantage of that privilege, shaming all who call themselves journalists and making a mockery of the profession.
I have my own choice words. But I’ll keep them to myself.