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Relevancy in Reporting

Yesterday an article detailing the weight of a man who had to be rescued from being stuck in mud was posted on NJ.com and SJ Times Newspaper Facebook page.  Well, the reaction from readers wasn’t all too great.  You had some who could care less, but the amount of people who had their nerves struck by this article were in the majority.

Following are some comments on the NJ.com website:

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Here are some on the Facebook Page concerning the article:

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And this is what SJ Times had in reply to the grievances of their readers:

Relevancy

The audacity to defend posting the mans exact weight is just inane.  First off, putting that poor mans EXACT weight out there has ZERO relevancy especially simply putting over-sized or big would’ve sufficed.  Second, anyone of any weight class can easily be mired in mud. As for the amount of rescuers as defense for posting an exact weight still doesn’t lend any relevancy.  Sorry, but if was simply insensitive for SJ Times to post the mans weight.  In our Politically Correct society we gasp at the mere mention of race being inserted into an article, but when it comes to weight there still is that insensitivity that a lot of so-called journalists don’t quite get yet.  And considering the SJ Times and it’s Liberal tilt I’m sure they would find it insensitive to report that the current Knock-Out Game fad is mostly conducted by black youths, but it would be irrelevant, much like this mans exact weight, because it also most likely crosses over racial lines.  So I must reiterate that posting a mans exact weight has ZERO relevancy to the story.

There are calls for the reporter to be fired.  I disagree.  Why should they be fired?  They made a bad decision that lacked discretion on their part.  Hopefully, this furor will be a valuable lesson learned and that in the future they’ll exercise such discretion.

There’s also calls for removing the story.  I disagree once again.  It should be corrected (which at present there has been no correction) not removed.  It shouldn’t be removed due to relevancy to the community the SJ Times serves.

So, if a newspaper such as the SJ Times is going to defend it’s posting of a mans weight on the internet and newspaper as relevant to the story they better be able to back it up with something that can easily stand the test of logic and common sense.  The SJ Times defense is weak and lacks common sense.  They would be better off either a) correcting their headline online by omitting weight or b) publishing an apology.  However, I’m sure they could do both.

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