Wednesday, February 27, 2013

It's Exploitation

I find it highly irresponsible that the TIMES UNION newspaper, through two blogs: ON THE EDGE and SARATOGA SEEN, have decided to write about the behaviors of minor children at a Section II hockey game earlier this week. See links below to read the blogs.


The students involved in the altercation written about were from Shen and Saratoga High School. I don’t understand why this is newsworthy enough for the TU to link up on their main page. Students misbehaving then being disciplined by their high school for said behavior, that’s news? I understand blogs are not necessarily seen as news per say, but it is “news” when the paper puts it under their top stories header on Some kids misbehaved at a hockey game, and it’s being dealt with in the region’s mainstream media? No matter how many different ways I write it, I just can’t see why it needed to be done.

Of course this hockey-game incident stemmed from comments posted on Twitter. And surprise, surprise, the TU has delivered this story from the angle that Bailey Wind, the Shaker student involved in the deadly Northway crash last year, was herself being bullied through Twitter, then again at this hockey game. Why is the TU reporting this in any forum? The only response that the blog post will receive through its herd-behavior comments section, comments which are seemingly 100% unfiltered, is another round of death to anyone who speaks out in anyway against Ms. Wind, or Shen, or anything surrounding that tragic crash. And the second reaction will be sourced from people who are ready to vomit from the nonstop exposure this story has been given, and thus attack children and their parents. Either way it’s bad; sheepish people showing off their mob-mentality talents, and unloading like idiots against minors. Again, not be a broken record, but I have no idea why the paper’s site has this story on it.

What happened last year was a titanic tragedy, of course it was. And high schoolers are emotionally incapable of dealing with the fact that life is unfair, and sometimes people die young, and there’s no reason why or answer for it. Heck, people of every age are incapable of that. Since this accident, these kids have taken to Facebook and Twitter in droves and done what young people do with tragedy: Try to work it out, but completely mismanage their emotions. This is expected. What angers me is respected media sources like the TIMES UNION and FLY-92 jumping on this emotional bandwagon, and editorializing on the backs of children. High schoolers should not be seen as fair targets for ratings, and their tragedy shouldn’t be seen as newsworthy in this regard. Basically, the TU is today reporting on petty, high-school drama. It's not about the tragedy anymore.

I thought the region’s handling of this incident was barbaric from the first day, and I think it continues to be absurd all these months later. Two lives were lost forever, and this shameful and perpetuated coverage (on this level) shows those lost lives no respect. If the Shen Community wants to keep themselves in the media’s main eye from this story, that’s their problem. I for one don't see this as a 15-minutes-of-fame thing. But I beg the TU to leave it alone and stop reporting on how kids are handling/mishandling it, and who’s bullying who, and who’s right and who’s wrong. Maybe I’m off the mark, but I just don’t like the look of those two blog posts, and I can’t recall the last time the TU reported on high school kids being suspended from hockey games and/or their Twitter comments to each other. Is that a normal thing? I don't think so.

This story is a story because Bailey Wind is involved, and that’s not right. The TU can say what they want: It's a commentary on the Power of Social Media, or the Impact of Bullying, or blah, blah, blah. It's not. You're blogging about teenaged Twitter wars, that's it, and allowing dopes to comment on it, and in turn fueling another war of words on the backs of children. For that outlet to bring more light to this, in this way, is irresponsible. It's exploitation.

Brian Huba

No comments:

Post a Comment