Tuesday, November 19, 2013

There Ought To Be a Law

There has been a lot in the news over the past year or so about cyber bullying and the damage it does. Sometimes young people will point out the flaws in others as a way to feel better about themselves, and give themselves a sense of power over the one they are bullying.  Others often join in on the side of the person perceived to be in power.  After all, if they stand against him, perhaps they will be next.  Bullying has been going on since the beginning of time.  Many of us have been bullied at one time or another,  but in recent years, because of technology, more people can get in on the act of bullying a person, and often it's not even easy to tell who is doing it. This has caused more than one young person to break, and take their own lives.  As a result, there is now an initiative to prevent cyber bullying, and it's often not tolerated, and may even be against the law in some areas.

However, though adults have come to understand the need to protect the children, they have not taken a good look at themselves.  What makes media bullying any different from cyber bullying?

Toronto's Mayor Rob Ford was caught doing things he should not have been doing. The media, as is it's job, brought the drug and alcohol abuse to the attention of the public.  Of course he denied it, as would any kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar.  But the media, like a dog with a bone, pursued him until he finally admitted his guilt.  That should have been enough, but yet each day there is another news story about this man as those in the media insist on digging up more dirt. Now the American night time talk shows are having a field day, and the story, which should have been local has gone world wide. A man who might have seen the light and gotten help may now forever have difficulty finding a decent job because of this kind of coverage. 

Mr Ford is obviously an addict, but even if he were not, by now I'm sure the relentless pursuit of media would be enough to drive most any man to drink.  Addiction is considered an illness in today's society, but the media seems to be determined to push him over the edge.

And of course, there's also Justin Bieber, who the media can't seem to leave alone these days either.  Maybe kids learned how to cyber bully by watching what the press does.  Journalists, as adults, should be more responsible and set a better example.  Their job is to report the news, not relentlessly hound  people by reporting every move they make, or have ever made.

To the journalists out there, I say, back off. Let the addict heal, and the teenager grow up. It's your job to report the news, not destroy lives and livelihoods. What you are currently doing has passed beyond reporting and is now bullying.

No comments:

Post a Comment