How Journalists Must Prepare For The Squeaky Wheels

Who would have thought this would ever be a thing?

A new report says it is “necessary” to better prepare journalism students for the realities of increasingly “vile” online abuse they could face.

The Journal of the Association for Journalism Education published the report, which found that abuse has become “more commonplace, more vile and more serious” in ways that can impact young journalists’ emotional well-being and lead them to doubt their abilities.

With the increase in promoted social media interaction by news outlets with their reporters, anchors and newsrooms, the door has opened for even more direct interaction with the public.   Not something I needed to worry about when I was in journalism school!

I remember a time when, after a newscast, there might have been a phone call or two from a viewer who either wanted more information about a story that was aired or simply wanted to comment on an anchor’s hairstyle or wardrobe selection.

Now – it’s a full-on social media feeding frenzy.  It’s a sad reflection of society and the often-uniformed yet highly vocal small segment of our population who often spews lies and opinions under the guise of “news.”

Jenny Kean, Leeds Trinity University, and Abbey Maclure, Yorkshire Evening Post, wrote:  “A modern-day equivalent of the Wild West:” Preparing journalism students to be safe online.

The duo also provided a list of nine recommendations for tackling such abuse, which can be found here.

It’s too bad, but this is a direct downside of the proliferation of social media and so-called citizen journalists and commenters.

Be safe out there.


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Written by
at Jun 1, 2021

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