as the editor it's purely up to you, making calls like this is up to you exclusively.
so first you need to analyze how you truly feel: do you honestly give a **** about football players and celebs? do you feel like thats newsworthy in all that we have going on? do you think that fur-haters are worthy of your consideration?
now look at how i wrote that. i asked you questions, but you can definitely tell my lean. as an editor thats how it comes out.
now you need to ask, will this celeb/football player sue you? here's how it works: the best protection for a journalist is the truth. if youre telling the truth, you cant be sued. however, if its printed as fact, its libel and you can sued for defamation of character. but why doesnt the inquirer get sued left and right? its because they place the questionable **** in their opinion-editorial section.
if you have a gossip columnist, then make sure you put it in your op-ed section. all you need to do from there is get all of the facts and put them out there. homeboy left that hotel. she was staying there. the reader can draw their own conclusions, and you're legally safe. if the columnist bitches about not getting a front-page story, tell her to **** off because she isnt a real reporter, and this isnt US or People.
and now you need to analyze the fur thing. personally, how many people do you know who care enough about fur and animals' rights to cause a fuss? there just arent that many. so as a person who is selling ad spaces in your paper, thats fine because if they stop buying your paper then its ok, because youve got an ad to replace their circulation costs. not to mention, the odds are that they wont get angry at you anyway, theyll get angry about the fur being used, which will cause controversy and thus give you something to print.
now its a matter of ethics: is causing controversy fine? in this case yes, because the fact is: this line of fur-clothing exists, and you're just making it known. not printing the ad wont make it go away, and all youre doing is informing these PETA hippies as well as potential customers. so you can play it off as "not taking a stance on the issue and keeping your objectivity". also, you not printing something because of public backlash is cowardly.
3 years at the best journalism school in the country
· 1 decade ago