Monday, February 12

Best Example of Bush League News Yet

I thought I'd identified the formula for news reporting in Jacksonville, but then it took a turn for the stupid. A recent story about a woman who had relations with her best friend's teenage sons was disturbing enough, but the news took it a few steps lower.

The reporter in the story was standing in front of the woman's apartment. That makes sense, right? Wrong. She no longer lived there. Apparently, the man who now lives in the apartment knows nothing of the woman who previously occupied his residence. Therefore, what possible relevance was there to report the story outside this place? Obviously, there was no reason to be there, but the reporter didn't stop with that.

The audience learned that there was a park with a playset within short walking distance of this apartment. Again, this is irrelevant, since the woman is not accused of cruising local parks for little kids. She's accused of overstepping the bounds with two teenage boys. These boys were sent to the apartment by their mother, and the case has nothing to do with parks or playsets. Of course, it doesn't end there, since it's part of the TV news formula to interview someone who knows nothing about the story.

A man who has just learned that a woman who lived near the park was targeting underage kids in interviewed. He is understandably concerned, and he mentions how his son AND daughter are around the age of the kids in the case. Holy smokes, now this woman is associated with the apartment complex, adjacent park, teenage boys, and teenage girls!

I know the news has to target our fears, and I'll give them that. But this story seemed to be so much more irresponsible than most in how it manipulated the audience. It should not be up to the viewer to dissect a story in order to understand it properly. That's the reporter's job.