Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Brian Williams: Crossing the Line as a Journalist

By Nicolette Danzy

On Tuesday, February 3, Brian Williams, chief anchor and managing editor for NBC Nightly News, was suspended without pay for the falsification of a story. There have been many different reactions to Williams' actions. Some people think what he did was nothing but a petty little mistake that every journalist makes, while others think what he has done was unforgivable and question his status as a well respected news anchor. The NBC Nightly News Anchor said that his helicopter was struck by a rocket propelled grenade in Iraq, which is not true.

I believe that what Williams did was irresponsible and wrong and I do believe that he should be punished for his actions. The job of a journalist is to tell the truth and keep citizens aware. When you decide that you want to be a journalist you have officially signed up to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. The falsification of a story is a lesson that all of us journalists learn from the start.

So for Williams, a well-renowned journalist, to make up such a story that is very big and has a lot of significance is not only disappointing but also makes me question his ability as a writer. He knows what not to do and he still did it, so I highly doubt that his story was a mistake. Being in an event like that would have such a big impact on you that there is no way you can forget or mix up details.

The falsification of stories by journalists is not an uncommon thing. There have been plenty of stories of journalists coming up with stories or exaggerating details in a story to make it sound better. Every writer wants that golden story or wants their story to get the most attention. Being a writer and journalist you have creative skills and you know what sounds good and what the people want to hear. So, although what Williams did was wrong and disappointing, it was not a surprise or unexpected.

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