Tag Archive: media

In the midst of the London riots, the media has continued to surface over the issue for some time now. Social commentators and news anchors have interjected their opionions and assertions about the rise of crime.

Until now, none of these comments have been racially misguided and prejudiced as historian David Starkey’s claim that the “whites have become blacks” and have been subdued to the criminal culture of Jamaicans and so forth.

What’s worse is that I can’t believe such bigotry was allowed on a prominent news source such as BBC. Starkey an “educated” man may have advocated that Blacks are the main cause and reason for the riots but here’s what London comedian Nabil Abdul Rashid had to say.

Lynchburg, VA- Communication students from Liberty University learned that the police and the news media can actually work together in keeping the public safe during a speech on crime and news media coverage.

Lt. Alan Faircloth of the Lynchburg Police Department (LPD) and WSET Senior Anchor Noreen Turyn from ABC 13 informed students of their respective roles.

Faircloth has been with the LPD for 29 years and is currently working as a part-time Public Information Officer (PIO).

“Our job is to work closely with the media and with other people that are looking for information in general or specifically regarding crime scenes or the police,” Faircloth said.

Turyn has worked 20 years at WSET switching from various news jobs from reporting to producing before rising as the managing editor.

“My beat for all my years has been coverage of courts and crimes. I’ve been to many crime scenes and I love it. My dad worked in the FBI for many years so it’s something that’s in my blood,” Turyn said.

“Lynchburg is fortunate to have a law enforcement agency and local media that get along so well because usually the law and the media go at each other all the time. You have the law saying ‘We have the information, you don’t’ and the media wants information but they don’t get it,” Faircloth said.

Students also learned that the media and law enforcement tend to misunderstand each other. News reporters would inquire about certain information during crime scenes and police supervisors would have no idea or any background about that information.

As a result, the PIO was born. The PIO is designated to disperse public information upon request. The LPD has implemented the PIO service in its agency for three years now.

“We had to have a central source of releasing information because of conflicting information, so having a PIO made things a lot easier,” Faircloth said.

However, Faircloth also noted that a PIO is  not always available during various police investigations or would not disclose certain information due to reasons such as protecting family privacy, classified information or suspect data crucial to the preservation of an investigation.

Turyn concurs, having an understanding of what information the police can withhold is crucial to bridging the relationship gap between law enforcement and the media.

“we don’t want to ruin an investigation or have a murder go unsolved just because we released information [we should not have]. Our role in the media is to make sure the public stays safe and is informed,” Turyn said.

In maintaining that role, Turyn added that reporters take what they can get from the police in order to inform the public about dark alleys, murders, random killings or drug busts all for the sake of public safety.

“It is true that we have a really great relationship with the LPD and it is good that we can get the most information we need,” Turyn said.

She also added that most information is available to reporters if they build a rapport with police officers and earn their trust. In several other counties, more polices districts are more reluctant because of the distrusting views towards reporters.

Trust between the police and the media is very important because it can bring the two closer to solving a crime like a murder that took place in Campbell County Turyn covered six months ago.

“We were covering the murder of a man who was involved with a pagan bike gang and we decided to do a story on pagans. An officer I knew stopped us short and told us ‘the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree’.” Turyn said.

This gave Turyn a clue as she later found out that the biker was murdered by his own wife.

It also works the other way around, reporters can give police information they found out about a certain investigation which can help  police solve the crime.

Despite the improved relationship among the press and the police, sometimes the media is also responsible for keeping the police in line and will report stories of questionable ethics among the police.

The reporter also stressed to students that the police cannot always give all the information that is needed during a report. She advised a bargaining process of information or investigating is a good way to get the story.

“”You don’t have to get everything from the police, ask people what they  saw, go from door to door and just ask,”” Turyn said.

At the end of the speech, Turyn and Faircloth gave more technical advice to students on covering crime scenes. Including reporting ethics, discretion and other dependent rules but most importantly- freedom of the press.

“We are the public and we have the right to information, as a reporter you should know when you are allowed to report and when to back off  but never let anyone intimidate you,” Turyn said.

“Yes, never take no for an answer, this might be cliché but you have to think outside the box. Always ask why. Don’t be afraid to develop meaningful relationships with other people. Work on building that trust,” Faircloth said.

He's got a big ego...

If you got Kanye West and MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) in the same sentence, be aware it’s a recipe for disaster. If Kanye West had a middle name it would be controversy.

 One of hip-hop’s attention-grabbing and biggest icons is at it again and has the media in a frenzy. It seems as if Mr. West has dug a grave for himself and his music but he’s definitely up to something. This is another one of those moments West could add to his collection of overly sensational outbursts.  

On September 13, Taylor Swift had won her very first award at the 2009 MTV VMAs. It was an incredibly special moment for the talented country pop singer but it was short-lived. Swift’s graceful acceptance speech was disrupted as West stormed the stage and  snatched the mic from the debutant winner. Then all hell broke loose.

“I’m sorry, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time, one of the best videos of all time!” as the rapper obnoxiously projected out onto the stage. There’s no doubt that West’s crazy stunt on stage was disrespectful, disgusting and inexcusable. 

However, West couldn’t care less if Beyoncé won or not because there is a hidden agenda in all of this. To tell the truth, I’m not surprised at all. In one single moment, West stole Swift’s deserved spotlight and diverged all the attention away from MTV’s award show which was also a tribute to the late Michael Jackson (Gosh, how many more tributes could there possibly be?)

As a result, West catapulted himself to the top of the latest events. As of now, he’s become one of the leading trend topics on Twitter and there are countless status updates bashing and praising West on Facebook. He’s the one making headlines, not Taylor Swift and that is exactly what he wants. 

West already issued an apology to Swift but  the damage has been already done. This is not the first time that West has done something like this. Anything this shocking  is usually an attempt to promote his work and flaunt his over-sized ego.

On November 14, 2004, the hip-hop artist hijacked the stage in similar fashion at the American Music Awards (AMAs) claiming he should have won the Best New Artist,  

“Upon hearing he has lost the Best New Artist award to ‘redneck woman’ Gretchen Wilson, West storms out of the AMAs in a show of protest. He later tells reporters, ‘I felt like I was definitely robbed, and I refused to give any politically correct bullsh–ass comment … I was the best new artist this year,'”  according to an article from MTV.com.

It’s a clear sign that West has a sore-loser complex. He will parade on any other artist’s accomplishment any chance he gets, forcing all the focus onto himself and his music.

After hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the Red Cross organized a fundraiser for Hurricane Relief. It was going well until West opened his mouth that caused more chaos on an already critical event.

“Back in 2005, the rapper felt entitled to the best album award at the Grammys, so he issued a very brazen warning during a pre-show interview. Then in 2006, Kanye had an onstage outburst when he didn’t win at the MTV Europe Music Awards. But, the incident that may top them all is Kanye’s outburst during a 2005 Hurricane Katrina fundraiser concert, when he stated that ‘George Bush doesn’t care about black people,’”  Mashable.com reported.

No doubt the rapper was entitled to his opinion but I feel as if that controversial statement somehow overshadowed the good intentions the Red Cross had.  Once again all eyes were on Kanye West and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

 In September 2007, Kanye West staged a rivalry with friend and fellow rapper 50 Cent prior to the simultaneous release of their respective albums in a desperate attempt to boost marketing sales. They aggressively used the media to their advantage. They taunted each other on late-night shows and acted out their “beef”  on award shows National Public Radio reporter Christopher Johnson reported.

I  think I’ve figured it out. An already established artist like Kanye West is so obsessed with the attention from the media. He has an insatiable urge to constantly be on top and doesn’t care who he offends or hurts to get there.  

He may be an obnoxious  and an inconsiderate rapper  but know that is typical Kanye West. Either love  him or hate him. After all, he’s got a big “uh uh huh egoooooooo.”