Today I will be talking about a subject that has been at the back of my mind for quite some time- should the media talk about gangs and the people in them? Well, when you say it like that, most people either say yes or no without looking at both sides of the argument. One might say that, 'Yes, they should because if we don't know who they are then how will we recognise them if something happens.' This specific answer is a common answer given by a lot of people who say yes. But have they though of both sides of the argument? What if something that a person did inside a gang happened a long time ago. Sure, it doesn't mean it is worthless, but it does mean that the person may be different now. Like Thomas S Morton once said, ' The past is behind, learn from it. The future is ahead, prepare for it. The present is here, live in it'. I am sure that people will agree with me when I say that this quote directly says to forget about the past and improve. Almost every year, the media talks about the death of someone exactly a year ago or exactly five years ago. But people can change in five years, can't they?
This is why the media should not talk about gangs and people in them. But now, I am starting to become like the person at the start, only looking at one side or one view. What if the person has not changed? Is the media justified to talk about them? Well, let us investigate the pros and cons.
For the media talking about someone's actions where that someone has not changed, there are a lot of posotives. For starters, if someone has been in jail and you see them on the streets instead of at jail, then you could report it as you know that the person is supposed to be in police custody. A lot of other posotives surround it. But there is one negative. Only one. But that negative outways all the posotives.
If a person does something and the media reports it, then everyone will know who it is. Also, as the media usually reports on local things, the person's family will also be know. The person's family should not have to suffer for what a person did years ago. That is why when something big happens, the person's family is protected in many ways. What would you do if something happened to someone you know and you knew the person's family? I don't think I need to answer that.
A normal procedure for protecting one's family is to change their names, make them move elsewhere, and finally, to destroy anything that connects them to the person.
So now we know that of the media does reprt on something, it should only do so under certain circumstances. But what about a gang. Many gangs are anonymous and their members are not known. Is it okay to talk about them.
Thsi is where it gets tricky. I, along with others, feel that it is okay to talk about both the gang and the victim(s), if the person's family agrees to it. This would make it both morally and ethically correct. This way, the media could talk about events without targeting a certain group or mentioning a name that could trigger something.
I would like to end up on something that the media used to do years ago. Something that makes me want to support the idea of media reporting sensitive subjects. About 110 years ago till 80 years ago, the media was doing something unacceptable by modern standards. Not telling the news, well at least, not telling the real news. This caused major effects on society and I hope that the media does not fall back into what it was doing.
This has been Affable Weaver. Bye.