Monday, November 16, 2009

Are Reporters Newsworthy?

FORMER FOX29 ANCHOR Dawn Stensland was profiled in today's Daily News.

Over the past two years, her husband lost his bigtime anchor job after allegedly breaking into a co-worker's email account, he announced it was because he was having an affair with his-co-anchor, Stensland suffered a miscarriage, she was fired, her dog died and her mother has been confined to wheelchair, suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease.

Do we need to know all of this about our television reporters (or former reporters)? Are their personal lives newsworthy? Do you care about them?

Or should we treat them simply like vehicles for providing news?

(Photo from Philly.com)

13 comments:

Don Hoegg said...

Seems like more distracting voyeurism. I can think of no occasion where a journalist's personal life would be of public consequence.

Luis Crespo said...

Except a television journalist, Don. Anderson Cooper and Katie Couric are in the newspapers and gossip columns all the time. A shirtless Matt Lauer has made the tabloid magazines. Larry Mendte and Alycia Lane were national headlines. I don't know about Philadelphia newspapers, but the New York Daily News and New York Post cover TV news and journalists every day. When Warner Wolf was fired, and Ernie Anastos signed a $10 million contract with WNYW, it made the front page.

This might be "distracting voyeurism," but it is what it is and it won't change anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

Television station promote their anchors as personalities - thus they become ripe for this kind of scrutiny. Alycia Lane did two sweeps pieces with Dr. Phil - the topics - her personal life - first her divorce and then her new marriage. Then she did a story on her childhood dream to become a skater. If she puts her own personal life out there - it is fair game.

Aleks Molnar said...

A public figure is a public figure, therefore the public is nosy and cares. Stensland, her husband, her mom, and her dog are all part of the label, so this is what happens. Is it newsworthy? Probably not. Is it ethical? Not really.

I completely agree with Don. It's nothing more than "distracting voyeurism." But journalism is a business, and it's what sells.

Sucks for her dog.

Kyia Davis said...

I think that we should leave their personal lives alone. What does her dog have to do with anything? I do not think some of the personal things expose were newsworthy.

Jendayi said...

Some people do care about this kind of news.News reporters are public figures.They are in the spotlight.Therefore, they are considered newsworthy. People are interested in their personal lives because reporters have some fame.

C.David Freitag said...

I saw Larry Mendte during a critical mass ride and we all stopped and talked to him. He was loading his car at whole foods. Nice guy. He's recognizable so I guess hes a celebrity. I think the newsworthiness comes more in the fact that we (Philly) trusted him to give us the news for many years and then he turns out to be a sneaky scumbag. There's impact in that and people have a right to know the moral ground their anchor stands on.

Wafai.Dias said...

We really don't need to know all this about Dawn Stensland. However, I must say that when I heard about Alicia Lane and Larry Mendte I was sooo interested. What can I say the story caught my attention, it was close to us in Philadelphia, it was interesting, and it was unusual. Now for Dawn Stensland to have all of those bad things is sad but she is a grown women that volunteered to be interviewed by philly.com so since she did that it makes her fair game. As far as fox firing her I'm pretty sure they did that because they simply wanted her to be a vehicle for the news which I respect since in the philly.com article it says that journalists have a "vow of news-celibacy."

Nadirah Wilds said...

No, we did not need to know; however, when putting your life into the public's eye you're indirectly asking for media attention. When becoming a public figure your personal life is no longer personal.

Anonymous said...

FELICIA TOPSALE SAYS............... I think the people who report the news should not be in the media spotlight because it is a distraction. I know I can never see any of the newscasters on TV again without thinking about what all of their private lives were like. I think all three of them are crazy and I can never take any of them seriously. I don't want breaking news from them.

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