Thursday, November 21, 2019

How The Media Distorts Stories About Well-Known People

The effects of the media today can be far reaching and devastating to people’s lives. It can take matters that should be handled within a company and broadcast it for all the public to know. If the parties happen to be celebrities or in entertainment, it can damage their reputation to the point that they are unable to repair it over an action that could be deemed less than severe. An uncomfortable situation that was handled properly.

Driving up ratings and getting views of an online story seem to be more important to today's media than keeping a person's reputation intact. Media will report on a story before getting all the facts, sometimes even salaciously twisting the truth all to get some extra clicks. However, once the truth is found it is usually too late and the party who is perceived as guilty has a tarnished reputation that may be unable to be restored. The media zones in on what sells, which apparently, these days includes a person side hugging a female employee or a female employee going to HR with a fair complaint, instead of looking at the truth of a corporation failing to protect an employee who did what was asked of him and a woman who went to HR with a respectful concern. Both sacrificed to the media.

The instance I'm referring to is about a complaint that was made by one female employee of a major network concerning a male co-worker. She felt that a "side hug" that he gave her was inappropriate for the workplace. She felt uncomfortable. The situation was handled by additional Human Resources training for the male employee. This would have been the same protocol that any corporation in this nation would have done. This seemed to be acceptable for both sides of the party and the training was completed, and the woman was pleased with the results.

However, this unrelated interaction has somehow made the news for driving traffic to websites because the woman ended up quitting the studio due to her concerns about being punished by the HR department for coming forward with a complaint. The male employee, who happened to be a producer of the project that both were working on, had his name dragged through the mud for an action that wasn't even related to her leaving. While the training was completed and both parties seemed satisfied, in the end there was a loss of reputation and the female employee left her job.

Sensationalism makes money for the media so finding the juiciest story while avoiding researching the entire truth seems to the norm today. They took what was entirely a Human Resource issue within a network and presented it as a much more serious case. In the end, a woman quit her job and a man's integrity was put into question over something that was meant to be a teaching experience. It is time that the media takes a step back and thinks about what they publish before they press the button to upload the story. The parties involved and the public would benefit from them taking an ounce of caution before they offer out a story as the complete truth.