Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Is It Acceptable For a Journalist to Wear a Grape Suit?

A high school student was suspended after running onto a football field during a game - while wearing a banana costume.

A journalist wore a grape suit costume when reporting the story.

Is the reporter out of line? Or is he just mocking the severity of the young man's punishment?

29 comments:

Joseph Brandt said...

Journalists have an obligation to be watchdogs for the public. I have never heard of a watchgrape. This is hard to shake a finger at since it is hilarious, but the fact remains that this is not good journalism. There is no attempt to report the facts objectively. The reporter is mocking the severity of the punishment, which makes him out of line. Leave the mocking to the public.

Geo said...

Watchgrape?

You, sir, just earned extra credit for making me laugh my ass off.

- George
(the teacher who thinks all TV reporters should deliver the news while in costume)

Stover said...

At the same time, I feel like this is a Don Pollack-type segment (which isn't to say it doesn't necessarily cross the line). A feature reporter poking fun at what he thinks is a silly school rule. He's not being objective, and I don't think that's the point. He's just craved in his years of doing TV journalism to wear a grape suit on local television. I think given whatever context this was presented in the newscast, we can accept this for what it is. A guy in a grape suit interviewing a guy in a banana suit. Nothing more, nothing less.

Yes, my last point made me turn my head, too. But I just happen to like fruit salad every now and then.

Ashlee Mericle said...

Honestly, I just think he looks silly. If I watched this story on TV I would lose a lot of respect for the channel in which was airing it. I think it's rude and unprofessional. I understand he's trying to be funny and all, but it's stupid.

Julianne Johnson said...

The reporter seems like a pretty kooky guy to begin with, even before he put the costume on. It's think it's a really stupid reason for a kid to be suspended; maybe this guy is poking fun at the school district by joining the kid in an act of solidarity? Kids shouldn't wear banana suits while at football games and reporters shouldn't wear grape suits while reporting, so maybe he's helping the kid out a bit. I still got the full gist of the story and I got a good laugh out of it as well, so why not?! I think it's hysterical.

Matthew Leister said...

The reporter is not being very objective. In fact, he is treating the "bit" as if he is a correspondent on the Daily Show.

It's hard to judge because I don't know the context of the situation. Is this a regular local news broadcast or a local show that tries to be humorous. If this is straight news then it is absolutely uncalled for and shameful. If it is a program for laughs then I say it's just stupid. Either way, the reporter loses.

Yousif Memon said...

I was definitely funny when he first came on screen wearing that, but the rest of the interview was pretty cringe-worthy. The news story should've ended with the video of banana man running across the field because, as the clip showed, there's not much to interview about. Awkward questions and awkward answers (he guesses he's sorry?) made this difficult to watch.

Albert Hong said...

I honestly couldn't believe that this Pat Collins was an actual reporter for this news station. The grape suit had something to do with it, but just the way he presented this story seemed very unprofessional. I have a feeling that if I see him again , I will not be able to take him very seriously. I feel that he should have just stated what happened, have a couple interviews, and end it there. I didn't mind the grape suit and I am not going to criticize him for that but I didn't even care whether this was out of line, or if he was mocking...it just failed. Instead, I feel that he made a fool of himself and the student who got suspended.

If the student felt that what happened to him was unjust, he should have presented himself more seriously. I just got the vibe that the student was rather enjoying the fact that he was getting so much attention due to his stunt.

Pat Collins just seemed very...out there for the whole story. It seemed like he was telling some dramatic story instead of the actual news, especially during the bit in the very beginning with the whole drama music. I did not see this as funny at all. At least the KUTV2 news staff made themselves look silly outside of their actual job. Pat Collins did this during his job.

Tom Dougherty said...

I think he went a little too far with the suit, but other than that, the mockery of the punishment was OK for me. I think this package would have translated into an op-ed if it were print, so I think it gives him more leeway to do this kind of stuff.

Anonymous said...

Is he really that desperate for views?? It is hilarious but extremely degrading; I pray my career never comes to this. This is not real journalism, in the traditional sense. However, one must face the facts that you need the ratings and this may be the only way to get them. Personally, I'd rather watch this over Miley's little stunts lately.

Rachael Clark

Zach Roumaya said...

I'm still not sure if this reporter is 100% sane. You might say he's... BANANAS!!! HA! Still, I'd rather have it this way. I think this is exactly how you should be reporting a story about a kid running around in a banana costume-in a grape costume. It's lighthearted news, everybody loves it. Great job to all people involved. Pat Collins for president.

Savannah Blake said...

Not all journalism has to be serious. Yes, there are always hard hitting news stories, but a student in a banana suit getting suspended is not one of them. So who cares if the reporter mixes it up a little bit? Sure, he could have worn a suit and tie, but then we would not be having this discussion! It would be different if he were to wear something like this for a story on a robbery or a murder, but this story is a bit on the unusual and ridiculous side, so why not take it up to the next level? I personally don't mind the grape suit. I actually prefer it.

gabivino said...

A lack of professionalism is one thing. But honestly, considering his age and the fact that he seems very comfortable in his job, I can safely assume that this reporter has been doing his job for a very long time. I think he was just having some fun by dressing up for a story. If I'd been a journalist/reporter for that long, I'd probably want to do something silly too. It might be a little unprofessional, but it fit well with the story he was covering. I'm cool with the grapes. (Fun fact: my last name is Vinogradov. In Russian, "vinograd" means grape!)

Tom Beck said...

I don't understand what the big deal is and I'll be the first one to admit I initially thought this was some sort of Fruit of the Loom advertisement.

Maybe it's a little unprofessional, but if you think you can have a serious and dignified debate about a kid running around football games wearing a banana costume you're delusional. In fact, I think all frivolous stories like this should be treated frivolously.

I for one vouch for more grape suits in journalism, not less.

Mark McCormick said...

I think that the reporter was making an example that kids should be comfortable with what they wear. It's obvious that he isn't mocking him by wearing the costume. Wearing the costume can set an example for other kids to speak up and stand up for themselves. A student being suspended for doing a prank at a high school football game is a little extreme. Kids are supposed to have fun with their friends at their high school games. He was having fun, and the school overreacted. This reporter is setting an example by showing freedom to kids.

Steve Bohnel said...

Just because it is hilarious and not really presenting the other side, this clip could and should be considered "bad journalism". The problem is that I really agree with the point regardless of how bad the reporting may be. Some reports seem so "right" that you'll buy into whatever method they take into delivering it to you. This method just happens to be funny, which catches many people's eyes. And I will safely say I side with the grapesuit guy and banana man.

Latia Coard said...

I do not see anything wrong with this reporter wearing a grape suit because he's clearly mocking the situation. It does not make me feel he is not a good reporter at all. Journalist do not have to be wearing a suit and tie to be professional. There are times one can break out in costume and others were it's obvious they shouldn't.

Pat Krall said...

I mean, it's hilarious and viewers probably loved it, but it's a bit much. It mocks the punishment and makes it seem really dumb. For a news station, they shouldn't let him dress like that. IT makes them seem less professional. I could see if it was a private blog or webpage's interview trying to get viewers, but not an established news.

Alexa White said...

I actually think the grape suit is the lesser of all evils. If a reporter was going to some sort of bizarre, fruit festival where they all wear costumes, I think this would be acceptable. However, because he put it on to mock the punishment that the school gave this boy, it makes it biased. Most viewers would already probably side with the boy and think his punishment is ridiculous, we don't need a man in a grape suit to decide for us.

Paige Calter said...

Journalists are supposed to report objectively, and from the beginning of this story to the end, from the way he asked his questions, to the grape outfit he put on to further mock the punishment the boy received, it made the journalist look biased. While it may have given everyone a laugh it discredits both the journalist and the station he reported on.

Jordan Mayo said...

When I saw this story I immediately felt that the reporter was out of line. The student could have severely injured himself or one of the players. The reporter is making the kids actions seem okay. the reporter is making a fool of himself and is destroying his reputation.

Grace Maiorano said...

Although the reporter's costume choice made the story much more appealing to viewers, it still undermines his duty as journalist. This type of story could have been handled in a more serious matter, such as reporting on how the football players could have been injured from the boy's banana outbreak on the field. By dressing up in a grape costume, the reporter is basically interpreting this incident as a humorous event, rather than a potentially dangerous occurrence. A sign of good journalism is not interpreting a story; it is telling it.

Paige Gross said...

While I think that this reporter was trying to match the mood of the story, and keep it light and funny, he turned the entire story into a joke, not just himself and this poor kid. I think that by wearing this grape suit, all of the attention is on what they are wearing, and not on the actual news- that this kid was suspended for wearing a banana suit to school.

Don McDermott said...

First of all, by wearing that grape costume he is being unprofessional.
Secondly, he is showing bias.
Thirdly, he looks silly, and is a poor reflection on his news station.
This was not "great" reporting; it was "grape" reporting.

Melonie Collado said...

It's funny. It's understandable why many would think this is bad journalism and that the reporter is out of line but for the most part I think the ridiculous suit matches the ridiculous story. A punishment so severe for something not severe at all? It deserves some kind of mockery, maybe just not to the extent at which the reporter attributed it with. I wouldn't do this but I enjoyed the video and I don't think it's terrible journalism; I would simply feel uncomfortable with doing something like this and maybe that's saying something!

Andrew Vanech said...

I'm saying yes and no to the grape suit. Yes because as the story states the young man got suspended for the banana costume, the reporter I believe was trying to make the young man feel better about the whole situation. The student even put on the banana costume back on. No to the grape suit cause the reporter is clearly making a mockery out of the whole thing even when he interviews the mom, he does so in a cartoonish tone.

Chengyang Yu said...

Why not? We may think that's rediculous but everyone has his or her right to wear what he or she want! It's fine if it's makes you happy and full of passion to report.

Jon Weaver said...

I think it was okay that he reported the story like this because it entertained while informing the public of the story. I think it fit with the reporters personality and if you were a regular for the newscast it wouldn't have been as odd as it seems.

Suchi Parikh said...

I think at some point, it was okay. The student who did it obviously thought that it was funny and the journalist was just trying to be funny but it is just not professional. Journalists don't always have to be serious but they should always be professional.