Media Ethics: If It Bleeds, It Leads

Media Ethics: If It Bleeds, It Leads

The gruesome journalism axiom, “If it bleeds, it leads.” has played out in Charleston and across the nation this week after the senseless shooting death of Walter Scott by a local police officer.

Let me be clear: It’s wrong that a human being was shot in the back, dead. It doesn’t matter who shot him or why. It’s unjustifiable. It’s. Just. Wrong.

But there is another thing almost as bad: How desensitized our society has become to violence as a whole, and how desperate our media have become to exploit tragic events like this to gain readers, viewers and notoriety for themselves.

Those Determined Detractors

Those Determined Detractors

Most PR practitioners hate to say no. God bless them they want to believe they can win over even the most determined detractor on their client’s behalf. And they will burn up a lot of time and resources better served elsewhere trying to do just that. Do yourself, your client and most important, your client’s primary stakeholders, a favor: When you’re tempted to promise them you can win over those dug-in adversaries (because you’re you!) dip into that pool of intellectual honesty and admit it just ain’t gonna happen.