Shop Talk panelist Jasmine Crighton came across a photo on social media of a TV reporter posing with a politician she had just interviewed. The reporter's comments accompanying the photo gushed about the politician's success and nice personality.
Crighton said journalists lose their credibility when they pose for such photos and flatter someone they’re supposed to be covering. She believes audience members who come across such a post will see a biased reporter.
Crighton also said interview subjects might find it weird to be asked to pose for a photo with a reporter. Crighton blamed the incident on the social media culture.
Panelist Will Buss also blamed the social media culture. He said journalists need to be less narcissistic and should strive to maintain a level of professionalism. He said reporters are responsible to the people and the facts, and shouldn’t be ingratiating themselves to politicians.
Buss said it’s okay for a reporter to be photographed while interviewing someone, but he thinks it’s wrong to pose for a photograph after completing the assignment. He considers that unprofessional.
Panelist Rich Egger is more troubled by what the reporter wrote about the politician than he is about the staged photo. He said it might be okay to pose for a photo and use it to promote the story or interview. But he feels there is no need for a journalist to suck up to a politician.
Jasmine Crighton is News Director of NEWS3 at Western Illinois University and Will Buss is the Director of Student Publications at WIU.