Home > BLOG 4 > Blog 4: The Role of Journalists During Crisis

Blog 4: The Role of Journalists During Crisis

In times of crisis journalists are faced with the very important decision of how to shape their message. No matter how something is spun they are going to have fans or critics of their every story.

When dealing with tragedy the country often turns to journalists as a pick me up. They are often in charge of reasserting Americans with that sense of pride and unity that makes anyone proud to be an American. I for one am not a fan of negative press immediately after a tragedy, and find it almost unpatriotic to do so.

When dealing with war the role of a journalist intensifies. They are often facing a sensitive audience, seeing as though war is an important part of many Americans’ lives and is a touchy subject in general. If the journalist does not agree with the war they must decide whether or not they are going to support the President or rather their own ideas.

Same goes for a crisis. The emotions are heightened and journalists’ every story is scrutinized.

Journalists, just as every other American citizen, are given the right to freedom of speech. They are protected under the Constitution to say what they feel; they are allowed to speak out for what they believe in, even if it is in opposition of the President. However, I believe that a big part of being an American is respecting the Office of the President and I often feel that line is crossed by many journalists today and has been crossed by many journalists in the past. Each and every President has been elected by the people to serve to the best of their ability to better our country. The media has made it their priority to be the Presidential police and turned to sacrificing respect for the Office and trust of the President in his duties for finding the next best story and releasing it through the media. A perfect example of this was when Bush was in office and begged the New York Times to not release this article. While journalists have the right to press in this situation, their lack of respect for the President’s wishes took over. Some may argue that this was a sneaky move by Bush and that Americans deserved to know what was going on; However, the only person who knew what exactly was going on was the one doing what he thought was best for his people, the President of the United States.

So this brings us back to how far is too far during a time of crisis, war, or tragedy.

Plain and simple. When respect is lost.

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  1. March 2, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    So, can journalists question the presidents actions “respectfully” so that it is OK?

    Are there things that the president can do which are so bad that journalists are justified in disrespecting the president?

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