Journalists aren’t known to carry guns.
Not because of anti-gun, political beliefs.
Journalists are supposed to act as civilians when covering conflicts, especially the armed kind.
The media are supposed to be observers, not participants.
That’s why war correspondents never carry guns, lest they be targeted as an enemy or spy.
There can be serious repercussions to the profession as a whole if those rules are broken and the media becomes part of the story.
So what the Hell was 9News thinking when they hired armed security guards to tag along with reporters and producers covering all those so-called peaceful protests?
It’s one thing to hire some burly guys to watch their employees backs while they’re on camera or act as intimidating muscle.
But whose bright idea was it to essentially arm their unbiased news team and send them amongst crowds of angry and sometimes violent protestors rioting against armed police?
This is what happens when journalists insist on inserting themselves into a story or try to become the story, as we’ve endlessly lectured and mocked 9News for doing.
It used to be considered unethical for a reporter to insert themselves into a story, or carry a weapon to cover armed conflicts.
And as we saw at Saturday’s protest and counter-protest, it’s dangerous.
We find it interesting many in the media are downplaying the station’s role in the death of a protestor.
The public is not as forgiving.
9News social media post are filled with angry responses from a relentless public mocking and berating the station for hiring the Pinkerton armed guard, 30-year-old Matthew Dolloff, who now faces first-degree murder charges in the shooting death of Lee Keltner.
Not even the TV station’s daily air quality report is immune from public anger.
Is 9News still planning on moderating the U.S. Senate debate Tuesday?
Now that 9News and their irresponsible actions are undeniably the story everyone is talking about, how in the world can the debate remain focused on the candidates and their positions?
9News needs to bow out of the debate.
Meanwhile, 9News management needs to do some soul searching, and all employees should probably get a refresher course on ethics and journalism.