Journalism has evolved immensely over the years. There are so many different types of journalism now that news can be presented in many different ways. That includes getting information through print, social media, online and throughout the media via radio and television. However, one of the biggest things that gets overlooked in the field of journalism is how these writers and TV personalities get their information. This universally comes from sources, and one way to get that information is through interviewing said sources. How you question your sources is very important, and when it comes to interviewing, there is a certain etiquette that I, as well as most people, believe there should be.
Many reporters out there seem to ditch this sort of etiquette. They do this to receive clicks and shares. While ultimately the point of journalism is to have people look at and read your work, many journalists partake in these without regard to how this makes the person they interviewed look.
An example of this occurred last week when I believe a reporter asked Michigan football player Karan Higdon a baiting question. What this means is that this particular reporter was out for likes and clicks with no regard for Higdon. While it didn’t blow up to any significant sort of level, the question was laid out to make Higdon look bad regardless of what he answered.
The watered-down version of the question that the reporter asked was if Higdon could guarantee victory against Ohio State like his coach did as a player. This question puts Higdon in a difficult spot as either way he answers leaves him open to criticism. If Higdon says he doesn’t guarantee victory, he looks like he doesn’t have the confidence that they can win. If he does ensure success, it makes it look like he’s cocky to people who only see the headline and not the context of the interview.
Now like I stated earlier, this situation wasn’t too bad, but this happens all the time in journalism. Being able to build trust with the people you interview should be one of the most important aspects of journalism.
If the people you interview don’t trust you or view you like a shark just looking to take advantage of what they have to say, then chances are they will be on guard and won’t give you anything good to say.
All in all, some journalists out there will deceive people to get attention I work to treat all the people I interview with the utmost respect, as do the other Torch reporters, and that’s how it should be everywhere. We don’t try to twist anybody’s word, and we don’t force unreasonable questions on to anyone. All this is to keep the integrity of journalism alive and well while others continue to destroy that integrity. We adhere to the guidelines given by the Society of Professional Journalists to ensure this.
Now, not all journalists are guilty of doing this, but it is a problem that is spreading. Luckily, we work hard to ensure that you don’t have to worry about these issues with the Torch.