WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Viewer Upset Over Same-Sex Marriage Video

Nov 19, 2013

The Shop Talk panelists discuss why a news report about same-sex marriage might include video of two men kissing.

Panelist Jasmine Garcia said she received complaints from an upset viewer after one of her broadcasting students showed such a clip. The viewer said reporters need to be mindful of their audience and said people might not want to see two men kissing.

Garcia agreed reporters need to be mindful of the audience. But she pointed out this was a valid story and – as part of the story - it’s appropriate to show two people kissing on their wedding day.  She said that’s what happens at any wedding.

Panelist Lisa Kernek said reporters need to decide whether a photo or video is needed to tell the story and whether it’s too graphic. She said it sounds as though this video helped tell the story and she does not consider an image of two people kissing to be too graphic. She said a story about a heterosexual marriage would almost certainly include a shot of the couple kissing.

Panelist Rich Egger said an image of a same-sex couple kissing might not have been shown as recently as 10 years ago. But the culture is shifting, more states are allowing same-sex marriage, and he agreed there is nothing wrong with a TV report showing a couple kissing.