Case Study 7: Live tweeting emotional breakup lacks taste and ethics

21 Mar

When I read this story, sure I was intrigued. This is compelling, unusual stuff. A young couple pours their hearts out in the middle of a Burger King? Yes, I want to keep reading. But, next I wondered to myself how someone could have the audacity to write this. How could someone record every word of this personal, intense conversation? It is private. Anyone can tell they did not mean for others to hear or publish their words. So, why publish this?

Well, I’m not sure why Andy Boyle decided to chronicle this on his Twitter, except to provide shock value to his followers. This definitely is not news worthy. It does not have any news value. Therefore, it does not fall under the umbrella of journalism. It does appeal to people’s human interest because it tells a compelling and true story. But, that doesn’t constitute journalism. The way he went about it was unethical and tasteless. These people are in a public place, but that does not mean that their words are automatically free for people to record. It does not mean that just because they are sitting in a Burger King, Boyle has free reign to spy on them and publish what they say. Yes, as journalists we want to do whatever to get the compelling story. But, there is a line. You have to respect others and their privacy. This crossed the line. There was no pressing need for his to eavesdrop on this couple, except for his own selfish, nosy reasons. In doing this, he lacked a great deal of class and taste. Yes, he got a story to publish on his Twitter page, but at what expense?

I think that using Twitter to tell stories is a fantastic idea, as long as you uphold certain principles. Some Twitter stories are just as popular with readers, and yet they do not violate ethics to become popular. I think the key is to look for compelling stories that do not make you cross that line to get them. Publish stories while keeping your integrity in tact. Don’t sacrifice your ethical standards for a sensational story. It’s not worth it.

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Case Study 7: Live tweeting emotional breakup lacks taste and ethics”

  1. Ronald R. Rodgers March 21, 2012 at 10:18 pm #

    Well done.

  2. Ronald R. Rodgers March 22, 2012 at 12:22 am #

    ALSO = GOOD POINT – I think that using Twitter to tell stories is a fantastic idea, as long as you uphold certain principles.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: