THE FOLKS AT THE Red Bluff Round Up rodeo in California weren't happy with the press coverage they received at their 2008 event. That year, a bull jumped into the stands and injured six spectators, including three children.
So this year, the rodeo organizers told the media that they would be escorted by rodeo officials to ensure "proper coverage." In the case of an emergency, the media would be escorted away to a designated area.
The journalists at the local paper, the Record Searchlight, didn't like the idea of being managed by public relations people. So they declined to cover the event.
They cited the principles of journalism as their support:
The reason we declined the press credentials is that one of the four basic ethical principles for journalists is to act independently. It's our job to bring you the news based on our best judgment, not to willingly submit to being "managed."
Should the newspaper have declined to cover the event? Did the PR people have the right to "manage" the media? Is the newspaper overreacting? Are they letting down their readers by not covering the event?
What if it was the Eagles or Phillies trying to control coverage? What would you do if they tried to control the message? Then could you ignore the game?
6 months ago