A West Linn High School student took her own life this week and some of the news coverage specifically named her. Throughout my career in broadcast journalism every radio station I've worked for had a standard that you never identify a suicide victim, especially if it's a minor. (As a matter of fact most news organizations won't even identify minors arrested for crimes.)
Why? Part of the reason is to spare the family additional grief, but another rationale is that by giving public recognition to someone for killing themselves you might be glorifying them. If other teenagers who are considering suicide see that victims get their names on the news and their friends are shown saying nice things about them, could that encourage other people to follow suit? How many of us know what's going on in the mind of a depressed teenager?
I just personally feel uncomfortable naming names in cases like this. What's to be gained?
From a purely competitive perspective, some of my colleagues say "well, other media have revealed the name so what's the difference if we withhold it?" Others point out how social media spreads the identity of the victim instantaneously, so the name is already out there among the close-knit group of friends and family.
Do you as a news consumer want to see the name of a teenage suicide victim? Should we even report individual cases of suicide? Please give us some guidance!
FM News 101
At KXL, we are no longer in the business of just doing radio. Our news responsibilities have extended to Websites (like this one) and Facebook and Twitter too. However, I noticed that another media outlet Tweeted 18 times in the course of morning drive (less than 4 hours). That's about 6 times an hour or one every 10 minutes. I found it to be too much. Some of the information was random and from places very far away from here. Maybe I'm just old fashioned (or maybe I'm just old) but the bottom line is this, how do we keep you up to date without annoying you online? My news formula is two Tweets an hour.
Let me know what you think?
KXL Morning Anchor and News Director.
2012 will be the "year of the campaign" for Suzanne Bonamici. Last night, she beat Rob Cornilles to win the seat left vacant by Congressman David Wu. However, she'll have to run again in November to keep the seat. She may even have to run in the primary in May. Is Brad Avakian considering a re-do? Bonamici says she doesn't plan to campaign just yet. She probably needs some rest. As for Rob Cornilles, he says he's taking the loss in stride. His supporters are surprised at how big the gap was in this race. This is the second loss for Cornilles and he says he's not sure if he'll run again in the future. We'll continue to follow on FM NEWS 101.
Voters head to the polls to pick the person to replace David Wu in the First Congressional District.
Will it be Suzanne Bonamici or Rob Cornilles? We'll cover both camps election
night January 31st. Kremer and Abrams will broadcast live from 7-9pm. We'll also have post game analysis from Jim Moore Wednesday morning.
Also, the Oregon State Legislature is back in session on Wednesday for a month. They'll try to figure out how to close the budget gap among other things. We’ll have reporters on the scene, interviews with lawmakers and analysis from our experts. Is there anything you want to know in particular about the session? Post on the comments below or email us at News@kxl.com and we'll find out.
On my way home, I was singled out in the airport at El Al. I watched a young woman take out every single piece of my clothing and shoes and souvenirs and swab them with an explosive detection stick. It took 45 minutes. Mind you, I had carefully packed the wine and honey and other things I brought back from Israel so they wouldn’t break.
I was so irritated that it took so long. I was irritated that I was sent to another special line with another blonde woman (racial profiling?). However, I realized this is the way to make sure we are safe when flying. As long as they don’t waste their time on someone like me and let someone really scary, like Lars breeze right on through. LOL.
Should Rand Paul feel the same? Is it okay to feel a lack of convenience or a“lack of dignity” in the search process in the name of security? What’s the fine line? I don’t have the answer but I think the question is worth investigating.
Good to be back in the states by the way. I did miss America.
If you want to get a real taste of life and tradition and history in Israel, you must visit the markets. We saw numerous fresh fruit markets and stands along the highway in the smallest of towns. The tangerines are fantastic here. We spent time at the Arab quarter in the old city. We got there early so the opening line from all the vendors was: "Special deal because you are first sale of the day." They believe it gives you good luck for the day if you cut a deal first thing. At least that's what they said. It worked because I bought a lot of things I probably don't need.
We also talked to a Palestinian cousin of former Oregon Governor Vic Atiyeh. He pulled up a table in his shop, poured us some hot tea, and talked to us at length about life in Jerusalem and his hope for the future. He was very kind and even took us on a tour of the church of the holy sepulchre where Jesus was crucified. He took us to his friend's restaurant and we had a wonderful lunch.
We also paid a visit to the Shook--the food market in downtown Jerusalem. We went as vendors and people were scrambling to buy and sell food in time for Shabbat. It was an incredible experience full of energy and excitement. You can hear my story from the Shook on FM News 101 Monday morning..or on a podcast later on this web site.
A tour of the Holocaust Museum tomorrow and then we're headed back to the states. I'll still be posting pictures on KXL's facebook site....so check it out.