?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

The deadline, the decision

I just got off the telephone with a friend who is managing editor of two newspapers in a chain of publications. Whenever he calls at this hour, I know it's not because he wants to socialize. He was calling to get my opinion on how to handle a deadline situation regarding a big, serious story.

The two of us back-and-forthed the details and then reached a decision we both were comfortable with. During our conversation, I kept remembering one of the values of the university where I teach: Respect the dignity and worth of every individual. That was the principle I kept coming back to as I thought about what my friend was telling me.

My 22 years in newsrooms provided a further foundation for my thinking. I always made decisions thinking that if I was going to make a mistake, I would make it on the side of caution. You can always push the story out further for the next news cycle. If you're wrong, you can't take it back.

I'm guessing—no, I know—that other media outlets are going to treat the story more sensationally. They'll be able to justify the way they handle it. But that won't mean they're right.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
nodressrehersal
Aug. 8th, 2012 12:49 pm (UTC)
Those 22 years of experience and the value you referenced = going to bed with a clear conscience that you helped your friend reach a good decision about how to handle that story.
patrick_vecchio
Aug. 8th, 2012 02:25 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Jamie. Between the two of us, we got to a point where we both were comfortable. Actually, I just asked him questions so *he* could get to the point where he was comfortable with a decision I suspect he already had made.
cwmackowski
Aug. 8th, 2012 03:41 pm (UTC)
I was thinking the same thing: the fact that you had that conversation and then went to bed and were able to sleep says much. Bravo.
patrick_vecchio
Aug. 8th, 2012 04:11 pm (UTC)
I frequently toy with the idea of getting back in The Game when I leave SBU (and I have no plans to do so), but it would be under my terms, and I don't think the Jim-Jims at the OTH would consider rocking their boat of "good enough."
sahlah
Aug. 8th, 2012 12:57 pm (UTC)
Nice that your friend's employer allows space for ethics.
patrick_vecchio
Aug. 8th, 2012 02:21 pm (UTC)
His publisher readily admits he's a numbers guy, not a words guy, so my friend has a great deal of freedom when it comes to matters of news.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

March 2017
S M T W T F S
   1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031 

Wish I'd Said It

Nota bene: “Fear has governed my life, if I think about it. ... I always feel like I’m not good enough for some reason. I wish that wasn’t the case, but left to my own devices, that voice starts speaking up.” – Trent Reznor

“I hate to say this, but not many people care what you do. They care about what you do as much as you care about what they do. Think about it. Just exactly that much. You are not the center of the universe.” — Laurie Anderson

"The path's not yours till you've gone it alone a time." – William Carlos Williams

“Filling this empty space constitutes my identity.” – Twyla Tharp

"My definition of peace is having no noise in my head." – Eric Clapton

"The wreckage of the sky serves to confirm us in delicious error." – John Ashbery

"We are all here by the grace of the big bang. We are all literally the stuff of the stars." – Dwight Owsley

"For my part, I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream." – Vincent van Gogh

"It is only with the heart that one can see right; what is essential is invisible to the eye." — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

"Forget about being a perfectionist, because entropy always wins out in the end." – Darren Kaufman.

"Impermanence. Impermanence. Impermanence." – Garry Shandling

"Fame is a vapor; popularity an accident; the only earthly certainty is oblivion." – Mark Twain

"There is no realm wherein we have the truth." – Gordon Lish

"Actual life is full of false clues and sign-posts that lead nowhere." – E.M. Forster

“Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe." – Frank Zappa

“I try to leave out the parts that readers tend to skip.” – Elmore Leonard

“The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.” – Voltaire

• Journal title and subtitle: Ian Hunter, “Man Overboard”

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow