Monday, October 31, 2016

Should The Media Out The Awful Fan?

During the Sixers' first game this season, a fan had a confrontation with Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook. The fan wound up giving Westbrook the finger (two actually) on live television.

Shortly afterward, that fan was identified via social media. Then, the mainstream media picked up on the story (that fan, apparently, is a urologist).

Should the media have outed the fan?

Are the media ruining the man's reputation by blasting his face and name all over the place?

Or, did he sacrifice his privacy by making such gestures in such a public place?

Also, would you run the video on TV without blurring or otherwise hiding the middle fingers? Would you run the picture in print unaltered?

22 comments:

Lauren Hillegas said...

I think that the only reason why this story grew to the proportion that it did, was because the of where the individual sitting (in perfect view of the cameras and so close to the court that this was even plausible) and because he has a respected career in the medical field. If the man was sitting in the middle of the stadium, lost in the crowd, this would've just been a normal response that is shared by other sports fans. He saw the opportunity to get in the player's face and he did just that. I don't think the media is ruining his reputation at all, he did that himself...he knew he was on camera.

If it was my decision I would run the video and the picture without blurring it. Both audiences of print and TV have seen the gesture before, and it can make the source look more credible for not altering the images.

Siani Colon said...

While the man should have known what he was getting himself into based on his seating in the stadium making him visible, I still don't think that means it was entirely his fault for his information to be exposed. What he did drew attention to himself, but it wasn't as if he was like, "Hey, look at me! Try digging up everything you can about me!" It's an individual decision for someone to go ahead and look it up and decide whether they're going to put it out there.

I think it was unnecessary for media outlets to add his background into the story. While you can't control the internet, professional news outlets could make their own decisions. The story is understandable to be covered because of what actually happened but his name and his profession don't add anything relevant to the story or what happened at that exact moment. He was a Philly fan that lost his cool for a second. That's all you have to say.

I would have ran the video and the picture without blurring it. It seems redundant to censor the gesture, despite it being offensive, only because the audience knows exactly what he was doing anyway. Censoring it is just a failed attempted at hiding it.

Teresa Sayers said...

I do not think the journalists should have used the man’s name in his story. I understand that with social media that lines get blurry, but the principals of journalism should always be at the front of your mind.
I’m sure he didn’t go to the game with the intentions of flipping of Russell Westbrook. And when he did flip him off, I’m sure he didn’t think his name and personal life would be put out on blast.
In this instance I do not think who is he outside of being a basketball fan is important to the story, but I also understand that journalism is now becoming more like a business. And I think it was that thought that fueled their looking into his personal life. Because the story got so much attention on social media, they knew the first outlet to get more information would get a lot of attention, so they did that.
Whether or not I would blur the image would depend on what audience I was reaching and what the news source was. For example, I wouldn’t expect Barstool Sports to blue the imagine, but I would think Sports Nation would. If I were working for a newspaper I would also blur out the imagines because it was such a popular story younger people would want to also read it.

Hadiyah Weaver said...

I do not really think this a newsworthy story. Although, finding out about his personal life did make the situation a little unusual. However, I do agree with the fact that stuff like this happens all of the time, but like Lauren Hillegas said this is kind of a big deal because of where the fan was sitting. I do not think the media should have given this amount of attention to the man, but I do think he sacrificed his privacy as soon as he chose to do this. He knew this was a big game, and cameras were everywhere. It's almost like he wanted to have all eyes on him at that moment. I wouldn't run this on television without blurring the middle fingers, and I most definitely wouldn't print it, unless the news medium that I was using had a demand among the audience for this type of "news."

Kaya Jones said...

I believe the only reason this story has gotten so much attention is because of the background information journalist found. As a journalist it is their duty to find the news worthy criteria in a story if there is any and then inform the public. If this man did not want to be seen and get attention he should no have did the actions, actions have consequences and he was just unfortunate enough to get caught on camera.

McCall Cox said...

While I think it may have been a little excessive for so much research to be done to identify the fan, I believe he sacrificed his privacy and reputation by conducting himself in such a manner in a courtside seat on a televised game. He was fully aware of his position and what could be at stake by acting this way. And even if his actions had not been captured on television, it is likely that another audience member could have recorded the incident via a cellphone and published the photo or video to social media. In this day and age, being surrounded by cell phones with cameras, one must always be aware of their behavior.

I would run the footage without blurring his fingers. Altering the video or photo in that way reduces the impact of the footage.

Cortney Dillard said...

I don't think the journalists should have put his name out there because it is damaging to his reputation. Even though he did this in a public setting, I don't think knowing the name of the man or his occupation for that matter are that important to the story. What makes the story is the bizarreness of it not the man committing the action. I think the story would have been just as interesting without knowing anything about the man. Also people can be very aggressive about their sports teams and seeing this story could have negative repercussions such as the man receiving insults and threats via the internet.

Samantha Nestel said...

In terms of publishing the video/ picture in the newspaper or on televised news, I would definitely blur out the middle fingers because I don't know who is going to see the picture, and I don't want anyone to take offense. Another reason to blur out the fingers is its just more professional that way. The reader/viewer clearly knows what is being done behind the blur, so there is no need to outright show it. In the case of the man's personal information, I believe that he sacrificed all of that when he made his decision to give the finger at a live event that is reported on and broadcasted. That being said, all people have a right to privacy, but if a person truly cared about their privacy, they wouldn't put themselves in that type of situation. The fan did that gesture, fully knowing he would be seen, because he wanted to get a reaction. He thrust himself into the spotlight when he thrusted those two middle fingers at Westbrook, and now he's dealing with the consequences.

Takora McIntyre said...

I agree with the majority of comments. This story is not newsworthy and the journalist should not out the mans information. Although, it is humorous and seem like a good story it truly has no relevance. I expected fans to find him and release his information but not actual journalist. Journalist have played a role in ruining his reputation but he should take full responsibility for acting out before the camera. His privacy was sacrificed the minute he decided to put his middle finger out knowing he was on television. I would run the TV without blurring the middle finger because to me that gesture is not to vulgar.

Connor Clark said...

This story blew up on social media not because of the chubby fan flipping the bird on TV, it was more about who he was flipping off. Russell Westbrook has been one of the huge stories this offseason after his teammate Kevin Durant joined the enemy and ran to the Golden State Warriors, leaving Westbrook by himself in Oklahoma City. Many thought Russ would be the next to leave, but he signed an extension days after Durant left and earned the respect from the entire NBA for his loyalty. This little incident pretty much sums up Westbrook's last few months. Kevin Durant said "FU" to Westbrook and left him alone, then Russ shook it off and signed an extension and instantly became the MVP favorite. In Philly on opening night, the idiot in the front row literally yelled "FU!" at Westbrook, he shook it off and put up a triple double in a win for the now 6-1 OKC Thunder.

Abygail Guinn said...

Even though the man was being offensive to Russell Westbrook on national Tv, i don't believe he should have been ridiculed and ousted by the media. He could have gotten, and maybe did get, a lot of backlash from the other fans by them saying awful things to him. His identity should have been kept on the down low to keep him safe just in case some people took his middle fingers to an extreme. Also, i believe that the media should have blurred out his fingers on TV. I know a lot of younger kids who enjoy watching basketball with their families and seeing that on TV might make the parents skeptical about letting their children watch it again.

Emma Connolly said...

While the consequences of giving Westbrook the finger given this man's seating arrangements probably should've have crossed his mind, I don't blame him for doing what he did. We all do irrational things sometimes when we're angry, his just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. I don't think the media should've outed this man. Everyone makes mistakes, even doctors! Many people have probably lost respect for him as doctor, but given the circumstance, what he does out of work should really not be of anyone else's concern. I don't think there's an issue with not blurring out the middle fingers, I just don't think he should've been outed by the media for something most of us are guilty of doing.

Tracie Thompson said...

I don't think this should be a story, at least not one where the fan's name and life story is put into it. In a sports atmosphere people easily get caught up in the moment, cursing at refs or flipping people off. He wasn't the first person and he won't be the last to do something of this nature and he isn't a prominent person so it seems pointless to call him out.

Walter Kirby said...

I don't really think this is a newsworthy story and I do not see why the media is trying to make it a story. Because the player, Russell Westbrook, is one of the best point guards in the game, and one of the best overall players in the game, I guess the media finds that it needs to address everything that happens with him. But many fans have flipped off players and told those same players to "f-off" or that "they suck". It is part of the crazy sports world that we live in where fans are so passionate about their teams, no matter how good or bad their team is. Had the player not been Westbrook, who has been swarmed by the media ever since his former teammate, and great player, Kevin Durant, left to go to the consistent title favorites, the Golden State Warriors. Now Westbrook has to carry the team on his back and he has more than shown he can do so as he is close to averaging a triple double, something that has not been done in a season in the history of basketball except for the great Oscar Robertson. Every move Westbrook makes is going to be zoomed in on as he chose loyalty over what many people thought was a chance for him to get out and win a title elsewhere so when people and fans attack the point guard, a story will soon follow.

Lisa Cunningham said...

Despite the fact that this fan was caught flipping off Russell Westbrook, I do not believe that this story quite fits under the categories of newsworthy material. If the man was not so close to the court he would have never been caught on camera. Although his actions were very direct and obnoxious, I do not see why journalists found it necessary to expose his name, identity, and profession. When they did this it opened up a whole new story that should have never been written. Some people may say that he had it coming to him when he chose to flip off Russell Westbrook at the game, but I do not agree with this. If you go to any arena or stadium for any game you will see plenty of fans doing the same thing he did, they just are not caught on camera. If I had to choose whether or not to publish the picture in print I would choose to publish the photo. Even though I would publish the picture, I would not search for more information about this fan.

Moriah Thoman said...

I think this story as a whole isn't newsworthy. The man wasn't a public figure, and there are plenty of people in the crowd that have put up the middle fingers at a sports game, so the man isn't really that special. His position close to the players would indicate that he probably was somewhat wealthy in order to buy those tickets, but that alone doesn't make him an important figure. As for showing the video on TV, I think they could just hide the fingers and maybe make a small remark and move on with the game. Overall this man and his name is not a significant part of news consumers' lives.

Catherine Thai said...

I personally wouldn't take the weather man seriously if I saw him wearing a costume. Although journalists have a duty to make the significant interesting, I don't think this pertains to weather. There's many subjects to be goofy about but not something like this.

Priscilla Mattos said...
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Priscilla Mattos said...
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Priscilla Mattos said...

Priscilla Silva* said

I personally think that getting the fans story showing the middle finger was not only an exaggeration, but it was also useless. The story lost its newsworthiness in order to get clicks. The media nowadays is desperate for clicks and use such "empty" subject to make it a real story. There is nothing special about that guy, he was just a fan that showed his middle finger in a basketball game.

Francesca Furey said...

I believe that there were two flaws with this story, and each goes to both the fan and the media.

First, as someone who is assumed to have some sort of intelligence (because he's a doctor), the fan should have known that these games are televised. If one has the capability to understand that certain actions can have the light shined on to it, would they still do it? Did he do it for attention? Was he really that mad?

Yet, the media should not have publicized this story. It doesn't fulfill any newsworthiness criteria and it's a source of pure attention, rather than information. I believe that the media only pushed this story so fans and those interested in "drama" would approach it... AKA clickbait. As a journalist, I think that news should inform the audience in some type of way and this story has no actual information. It's an event that happened and was relatively "interesting" to some. But that's it.

Chia Yu, Liao said...

I don’t see the newsworthiness in this story. It seems just a fan dissatisfied and express his mood by showing the middle finger. However, disclose his personal private doesn’t have benefit to each other. What is the purpose of announcing this fan’s identified? Let people to ask his workplace to fire him? Or threaten him? People only pay close attention to this news temporary, not lasting. After the news fade out, he deserves what he has, does it made the world better? People shouldn’t leak out other’s privacy, it doesn’t make the situation better, it only makes it worse.