A Tarnished Jewell May Help Journalists Shine
Sponholtz, Anne, The Florida Times Union
I believe that we are entering a new era in the world of
journalism. Not that it was bad before, but as with most
professions, the goal for journalists is to just keep getting
The coverage of Richard Jewell, the man who was cleared of any
criminal role in the bombing at Centennial Olympic Park in
Atlanta, sets a stunning example of why fast is not always best
when it comes to responsible journalism.
In fact, Steve Geimann" president of the Society of
Professional Journalists, has been outwardly critical of the
"In this case, many reporters and editors appeared to check
their tools in a closet . . . the press should not follow in
lock step by regurgitating what police and federal agents leak
to reporters," Geimann recently told journalists.
I think it should be a prerequisite for every big city and
national reporter to spend some time in small-town America. Dan
Rather, for example, could come to Keystone Heights for a spell.
In small towns, subjects of news stories become more than mere
names on a police blotter or a court document or given to you by
After all, the individual or event you are reporting about may
deeply touch the lives of your neighbor, your friend, the parent
of your kid's best friend or the person you sit next to in
I will never forget the day I was invited to go on a major Clay
County drug bust with detectives and deputies. We'd been to
several homes already and as the "bad guys" were handcuffed and
placed in patrol cars, I snapped pictures, imagining how the
local weekly …
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Publication information: Article title: A Tarnished Jewell May Help Journalists Shine. Contributors: Sponholtz, Anne - Author. Newspaper title: The Florida Times Union. Publication date: November 6, 1996. Page number: 4. © 2007 The Florida Times-Union. COPYRIGHT 1996 Gale Group.