By Claudia Williams
Scandalous Journalism: High-profile incidents or stories that cause damage to the subject and run contrary to the usual rules and ethics of journalism / or violate a journalist’s mission: to report news events in a fair and accurate manner.
Television shows like “Scandal” http://abc.go.com/shows/scandal depict scandalous journalism in a dramatic sense, but also in a somewhat real way. Most common in politics and the lives of the rich and famous, scandals come with the territory. Sleeping with your secretary, having a secret child from years ago, or tax evasion are some of the common things you hear when it comes to a political figure having a scandal on the news. The minute this prints in the newspaper, or airs on the six o’clock news, the life of the subject involved is in shambles. Journalists flock to the front yard of the up-in-coming Senator to ask a million questions, about why and when and what is going on? The more and more they dig, the more and more information they receive, and sometimes this information is not true.
One really famous scandal that erupted because of the media and journalists was the Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky scandal. In 1998, Bill Clinton was accused of having sexual relations with a white house intern by the name of Monica Lewinsky. Clinton denied these accusations, but with the amount of media surrounding this case, it blew up everywhere and became one of the most talked about scandals in the US. The “Lewinsky Scandal” eventually led to Clinton’s impeachment. Had it not been for the mass amounts of media and journalists following and finding every detail of this case, I don’t think that it would have become such a massive scandal. It would have simmered down much faster and quietly.
What do you think about scandalous journalism? Do you think it is fair for the media to publicize something that could be damaging for the subject, to the point of impeachment, for instance? Or do you think that is the best part of journalism? Revealing secrets and scandals? Would you personally feel bad about releasing a story regarding a scandal, or would you love it?