Planet News Views

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Where's the Concern For Privacy Rights From the Mainstream Media These Days?

Commentary
By Scott McLean

Posters of a beautiful bikini model, whose name is on the tip of my tongue, were all sold out. It was just my luck years ago when I was a senior in college and my walls were bare... but actually I was talking about my feelings of disappointment a few hours ago.


I'm smiling. And thanks for reading this far. I'll be serious now.

Just wanted to get a little attention in the lead of my article, which will cover several topics before reaching a (whew! thank goodness he's finished) conclusion. I suppose in order to prevent anyone from not finishing the article, I could stop this very minute, and finish writing a paragraph at a time, when you least expect it over the the holiday weekend. But that wouldn't be fair.

Ah, fairness... now that's the word (no, it's not the model's name) I couldn't think of yesterday, and it's too often absent in the reporting of high-profile criminal cases.

We all know the case in which the "mainstream" news media reported everything they possibly could, even to the point of making us feel sick to our stomachs. The authorities and news media thought they had the right person, only to be jolted by a major twist in this overdone suspense.

Despite the expense of bringing John Mark Karr back to the USA from Thailand-- as the reported suspect in the JonBenet Ramsey case-- Karr was cleared in the case when his DNA was not a match, according to many media sources.

In my opinion, it's awful that the authorities and the media didn't do a better job of controlling the details that were reported.

Obviously it's not the first time the "major" news media showed an extreme amount of irresponsiblity in reporting, which if the man been tried for the crime, could have prevented him from getting a fair trial.


Ratings and money seem to be more important to some television stations, radio stations and newspapers than fairness to the people they report on to the public.

Here is the major problem, the way I see it: This man's privacy rights were violated by journalists reporting on gender issues, which as far as I can tell had nothing to do with the case. This time it seems as though the media were a part of bigotry by violating medical privacy and reporting details of irrelevant information that should stay in the doctor's office.

Few writers criticize the media when they do something awful. While some people might say who cares, just remember reporters could invade your privacy or anyone else's for that matter.

Reporters also didn't give a complete picture of Thailand as it relates to gender issues. There are good people and good news everywhere, but the mainstream media report mostly bad news.

Next time I'll write about Thailand, United States, the world, and maybe even the universe...

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