By Jennifer Gardner
As a journalist, some stories just make me shake my head. The latest ridiculous story masquerading as news was the story about the 9-month-old baby in Pakistan that was arrested and fingerprinted FOR MURDER and is currently in hiding.
Hold me back while I yell at these journalists for not doing their job. Shock value stories will get readers, but there is often a lack of significant reporting that accompanies them.
I honestly don’t even know where to begin with this story. The idea that a baby can be charged with murder is absolutely ludicrous. There has got to be more to this story than is actually being reported. The baby was charged because one of the policemen apparently complained that the “whole family” had beaten him up. It takes “taking things literally” to a whole new level.
The article briefly mentions the fact that the Pakistani police system is corrupt and has many issues but doesn’t go into much detail about it. If a police system is so corrupt and dysfunctional that it is charging a mere baby with murder, there are deeper issues that need to be investigated. I would love to see a follow up investigative piece about the Pakistani judicial system, but it’s not responsible journalism to publish a piece like this. It’s capitalizing on the shock value without providing much real journalism behind it.
Don’t get me wrong. This story did have some reporting, but there was so much lost opportunity with this article. Are there any types of articles that you commonly see that are lacking reporting? What can we do as reporters to combat this lack of informative reporting?