Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What Would You Do?

WATCH THE video above and let us know whether you think this is good journalism or voyeuristic trash.

Sometimes, it is a fine line. Here is an excerpt from an Associated Press story about the program, called "What would you do?"

"What Would You Do?" is also a sign of changing times at broadcast news divisions. Quinones is a veteran journalist who reported about Central America for "World News Tonight" and won Emmy Awards for stories on the Congo's rain forest and the Yanomamo Indians. Now he spends most of his time on concocted social situations, a few steps up in class from NBC's "To Catch a Predator" series.

Quinones acknowledged to some trepidation about the idea at first, but he said it has been erased by how many times he's seen brave people do the right thing.

"How many other newsmagazines are tackling domestic violence, racism, attacks on the homeless, date rape, hazing, shopping while black?" Whipple said. Some of the experiments come directly from the news: the recent stabbing death of an immigrant from Ecuador on Long Island has inspired a segment where people's reactions will be tested when they see day laborers threatened with physical harm.

Would you watch the show? Would you host it? Is this even news?


Eileen McHugh said...

I would not watch this show. It's just another one of those hidden camera shows for entertainment. Granted, they do touch on heavier subjects, but how much are we learning by testing one community's reaction to a problem? That doesn't speak for every community in the world. I do not think that it is news.

Anonymous said...

I don't consider it news. It's more like an experiment. I don't think it is necessarily a bad show, but it is just that. A show. It's a little different than Punk'd or Scare Tactics but its generally the same idea.

Brittney Corridean said...

I think the show is a very good idea, because many people do not know how they would react in those types of situations. It helps make the audience aware of what the world can be like. It may not be news per say, but it does cover current controversial issues.

Stephanie Klock said...

I believe the show is based on news and it is informing, however, its more like candid camera. It is a serious issue but because of the nature of hidden camera and actors i found it more entertaining while i was appalled at the real footage from Canada.

On the other hand, it is helping communities around the world prepare themselves for situations they may encounter.

Its not traditional. But news can be anything, i would watch the show for sure.

Anonymous said...

When the show talks about the actual Bum Beatings that have been occurring around the country and in Canada, then it's news. Yet, despite the validity of the hidden camera scenarios, I wouldn't necessarily consider that news. Although, unlike other hidden camera shows, this one does touch a much serious subject matter than that of a prank on celebrities or what have you.
However, like they say in the video, it's an experiment. It is an interesting concept and the fact that someone as esteemed as Quinones hosts the show is definitely something that will lure people into watching the piece. His reputation as a news reporter convinces viewers that it's a legitimate news story, which it is, only when they're reporting, but not when they're experimenting.

Alexandra Strockyj

Michael Gaudini said...

Like some others have said, I do not consider this video news. It is not a neutral report of an occurrence, but rather an active event in which the "reporter" is directly involved. News, in my opinion, may be chosen by media, but it is not created by them.

Which is not to say that I did not find the subject material interesting -- I just believe that this video would have worked better as a program (not a news segment) that focuses on a deeper analysis of the subject (showing maybe the differing or similar reactions of men and women, of people from cities and small towns, etc...).

-Michael Gaudini

Amanda DiStefano said...

We had to watch this in my anthropology class. I think this episode was one of the best depictions of race relations I have seen in a long time.


Amanda DiStfeno
(current JnS Student)

Geo said...

Should journalists be conducting social experiments? Or should they be reporting on events as they occur?

- George
(the teacher who fears this show verges on infotainment)

Anonymous said...

Like most others, I do not think that this program is "news". It's more of an experiment in sociology, where an esteemed reporter then goes in to ask questions after the situation has been staged. That's more comparable to children "playing" news, than actual news. However, I do find this show compelling, and this is not the first episode I've seen of it. I must admit, I'm quite cynical of my fellow "man" now-a-days, and it is refreshing to see people react in such a manner, as everyday I see this persecution of the homeless firsthand. Yet, we can't ignore the fact that this is STAGED TELEVISION. This is not live feed news reporting; this is edited, made for ratings television. Who knows what they have edited out, to shape the issue at hand the way they feel?

-Angelina Thoman