Media should consider impact of the language it uses

The Gazette Opinion Staff
Published: December 10 2012 | 11:30 am - Updated: 1 April 2014 | 3:11 am in

I was disgusted with KGAN one recent evening. The police chief of Cedar Rapids had reached out to the media to let the public know that the police department needs witnesses of crimes to report crime and work more closely with the police. The gist of the story was that the police can’t do an effective job without witnesses who are willing to step forward to help.

So what does the reporter on KGAN say? The police need people to “snitch.” Snitch? Is this the best a professional journalist can do?

What a negative connotation to a request from the new police chief.

He wasn’t talking about a kindergartner snitching on a classmate for breaking crayons. Serious crime is infiltrating areas of our community and all of us have a responsibility to partner with the police to make this a safer community.

The media has great power. I hope KGAN considers the impact of the language it chooses to use in future broadcasts.

Jeff Ilten

Cedar Rapids

 

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