Monday, February 11, 2008

If People Curse, Do you Publish Their #!@!! Curse Words?

WHEN SAM ZELL, the owner of the Tribune newspapers, cursed at an Orlando Sentinel staff photographer last week, the Los Angeles Times (another Tribune paper) wrote that Zell threw a "two-word obscenity" at her.

A "two-word obscenity?" How lame is that?

Now, an LA Times writer is saying that the paper should reflect the ownership.

Contributing editor Arellano wrote:

Hey, Zell: I hear you love to curse. How about making this paper reflect your saltiness, you (same word Zell uses to insult reporters, no doubt appreciated by him, but that can't appear in the Los Angeles Times -- yet)?

Should newspapers and broadcast news outlets start running curse words as people use them? Or do we have a deeper responsibility to the public?

17 comments:

Guido Martelli said...

publish the curses! or at least put
F**k in there or something. personally i think our deeper responsibilty is to publish what actually happened, the NEWS, not a reference to what some rich asshole said. now, you can't hate the LA times writer who did not blast his boss, since Zell owns his newspaper, but i think journalists should publish obscenities.

Ariela Rose said...

I agree, I think obscenities should be published, especially if they add to the power and appeal of the story. Sometimes curse words are needless in quotes but other times they really take the quote to the next level. I say publish the swears, if people have a huge problem with them then just star out a couple letters.

Ariela Rose said...

I agree, I think obscenities should be published, especially if they add to the power and appeal of the story. Sometimes curse words are needless in quotes but other times they really take the quote to the next level. I say publish the swears, if people have a huge problem with them then just star out a couple letters.

brader jimenez said...

Chill, I don't think newspapers and broadcasters should start printing and taping curse words. It's bad for business, bad for the country, bad for the future of this nation. Society will open a door for an ugly, unwanted precedent. Besides, that is unprofessional, I mean you can have an opinion, but who wants to hear you cursing? It’s unnecessary. There is and should always be responsibly to the public. This shameless man has obviously no interest in the well being of the nation; in fact this dude IS the pimp that David Shuster was talking about in the previous paragraph; money being his only concern. Why can’t we poke fun at this guy instead ?

Emily Shesh said...

fuck yea

caramelstar813 said...

It would totally offensive if newspapers start publishing curse words. That would be very unprofessional and tacky, especially towards our elders who read newspapers and watch the news.

Scott Murrah said...

People should be encouraged to publish the exact words said in these sort of cases. I mena, it isnt exactly hard to deduce what sh*t f*ck actually is. That, and knowing what was actually said in cases will actually sway opinion every now and again. Personally speaking, I curse like a f*ckin sailor, but Id like to believe most of america doesnt, and would feel differently if they read what was being said.

Becky Arden said...

Do we really want newspapers and broadcasts to become like rap videos?
I don't.
Why do you need curse words to get your feelings and point across? If you are a good journalist, you should be able to do that already, don't try to use curse words as a crutch. We don't need the papers or TV to start sounding like the teenagers of this country.
How will that make other countries think of us? Most already think we suck, yeah guys, lets fuel the fire, huh?
I mean I curse along with almost every other teen I know, but I don't want or need to hear it from the papers. And as a journalist, I would never use them.

Obie said...

Kudos to Arellano. His article isn't calling for writers to use so-called obscene words in their stories as part of their own, personal language, but rather when an important quote contains the word. It is an entirely different issue than I think most people are making it out to be here, and he's right.

After all, we can't be completely objective if forced to explain someone else's words, yeah?

Laura said...

Curse words add to the power, and, to sound incredible cheesy, "oommph" of a story when they are used tastefully. I don't see a problem with publishing curse words as long as they aren't just thrown in there for the hell of it. Some papers will use them in certain stories, and, if I remember correctly, one of George Miller's articles in a recent issue of Philadelphia Weekly included the "f-word." And if I think even harder about it, I think it was used in a great way-it might even have been the end of the article.

Geo said...

George Miller is not a role model.

But you are right - it was the last line in a story about media giants cutting staffs to make higher profit margins at newspapers. A staffer at the Metro ended a conversation with me by muttering, "Fucking corporations."

So I used that at the end of the story.

But that story was printed in an alternative weekly, which is geared toward a youth audience. When I worked at the Daily News, I couldn't even slip in an occasional "ass" into a story (like dumbass, etc).

Traditional dailies and broadcast outlets generally will not publish/ air so-called obscenities.

- George (the #!%#!! teacher)

Nick Vadala said...

Absolutely publish the swearing. They're just words and help to accurately project the emotion, attitude, and personality of the person speaking. However, swearing does kind of make people seem unintelligent.

An-chan said...

Curse words are just words so in that sense they should be allowed but at the same time they are over used and have lost any meaning they once had. This country is already filled with cursing why make it worse by adding it to our news.
I, for one, don't want to hear my information source using crude language to relay information to me.

Shauna said...

Seriously. How about we don't start publishing curse words and desensitizing our youth more than they already have been. I don't want my kids reading curse words in newspapers or magazines. Curse words are meant to be offensive and they have harsh meanings that I do not want to hear when walking by the elementary school playground. It is absolutely ridiculous to think that we no longer need to shelter the young from the harsh language that adults use. Let's try to preserve some innocence.

Anonymous said...

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So don’t fall for their ‘ good will’ ‘humanitarian’ BS. ITS A SHAM. NOTHING BUT TAX DEDUCTABLE PR CRAP. Bottom line: The richest 1% will soon tank the largest economy in the world. It will be like nothing we’ve ever seen before. and thats just the beginning. Greed will eventually tank every major economy in the world. Causing millions to suffer and die. Oprah, Angelina, Brad, Bono, and Bill are not part of the solution. They are part of the problem. EXTREME WEALTH HAS MADE WORLD PROSPERITY ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. WITHOUT WORLD PROSPERITY, THERE WILL NEVER BE WORLD PEACE OR ANYTHING EVEN CLOSE. GREED KILLS. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL. Of course, the rich will throw a fit and call me a madman. Of course, their ignorant fans will do the same. You have to expect that. But I speak the truth. If you don’t believe me, then copy this entry and run it by any professor of economics or socio-economics. Then tell a friend. Call the local radio station. Re-post this entry or put it in your own words. Be one of the first to predict the worst economic and cultural crisis of all time and explain its cause. WE ARE IN BIG TROUBLE.

Geo said...

I'm hoping the above comment is not from a classmate. While I agree that Oprah, Ellen and Dr. Phil are all evil, this is not journalism-related.

Unless anyone claims the post and speaks as to how it connects to journalism, I will remove it tomorrow.

- George (the befuddled teacher)

brader jimenez said...

@ betty arden - Like rap videos ? wow total generalization ... What about rap groups like tribe called quest, the roots or individuals like common, even will smith in his time ? They refrained from cursing. You obviously have no background of hip hop at all, why would you take a generalize a whole genre by a sample of what you heard ? But hey everyone has an opinion right ? You probably heard 50 cents on your friends Ipod and came to a conclusion.