Saturday, February 18, 2006

What can a liar or two do to an entire profession? What can we do to stop them?

While watching "Shattered Glass," I kept thinking, "Why would anyone think they could keep lying without getting caught?" This especially applies to journalists. Media professionals who are dishonest lie to such a large number of people that someone is bound to notice. Then I realized, maybe people just assume journalists are making things up these days.

In a movie review for the Miami Herald, Rene Rodriguez argued that society may have lost its faith in people in general and journalists in particular. He refered to instances after the Jayson Blair scandal when people whom Blair had written about said they didn't worry about the truthfulness of the stories because they thought it was normal behavior for newspapers.

Rodriguez partially blamed this behavior on society saying, "By retelling Glass' pathetic tale, Shattered Glass Reminds you how our culture's emphasis on success and stardom in any field -- and the betrayal of ethics to attain them -- has a cumulative, corrosive effect on society, no matter how small the stage may be."

The movie and article raised many questions. Who is to blame? In the end, men such as Glass and Blair are responsible for their own actions, but should other people have paid more attention? Is everyone responsible for holding journalists to a certain standard?

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