A reporter is covering a sexual assault trial in which the victim is a young man.

Question: A reporter is covering a sexual assault trial in which a victim is a young man. The arresting officer tells the reporter that the crime is not a surprise because the victim “is queer.” Should the reporter use the officer’s quotation?

Comments

I think the reporter has permission to use quotation therefore he can use the quotation. Conrad,(1999) states that “the best quotations reveal the reality about the person being quoted”. It helps reflect the speaker’s opinion on the subject of the story, even here in this case of sexual assault trial, the quotation of the arresting officer is also important. First of all, it will help to know about the victim that is a young man. Moreover, it will also reflect the officer’s opinion on the context. It will clear the overall condition of the incident.

In addition, reporters have the privilege to use quotations about anyone, even if it is about a politician, businessman, the general public, or a queer. This is the same for everyone. In a sexual assault trial, this quotation of the office will clear the situation. So, the reporter should use the quotation.

But it is often seen, that reporters try hard to receive colorful quotations as per their wish to make the news more interesting. This is how the reporter shows people what they want to get. This is not appropriate, unethical, and it is also against law.

The court will save the reporter as long as he uses the quotation, exactly as it was said. But, if the reporter tempers with the quotation and presents in a way that it gives the wrong conception about the situation, damages the real image of the context. So, if the officer or speaker complains against the reporter then he will be punished cause it will be taken as a crime.

And the arresting officer said his words willingly to the reporter when the reporter was covering that sexual assault trial incident. That is why the reporter doesn’t require the permission of the arresting officer using his quotation. It is legal to use an oral statement or quotation of a person. So there are also no legal constraints.

Therefore, as long as the quotation remains the same, the reporter should use the quotation of the arresting officer, if it makes the sexual assault trial context clear.

References

Conrad, P. (1999). Uses of expertise: Sources, quotes, and voice in the reporting of genetics in the news. Public Understanding of Science8(4), 285-302.

The comment of the question “A reporter is covering a sexual assault trial in which a victim is a young man. The arresting officer tells the reporter that the crime is not a surprise because the victim “is queer.” Should the reporter use the officer’s quotation?” has made by a student, and it is just an example on how to answer.

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