Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Did bikini-clad reporter go too far for story?
You know the media loves a good scandal - especially when it involves a competitor.That's exactly what's going down in Chicago this week where television station WBBM
had a doozy land on their doorstep.Somehow, video was obtained of a female reporter from rival WMAQ
inside the home of a man whose estranged wife went missing under mysterious circumstances in April.The reporter - who's been covering the story for her station - was clad in a bikini top and towel. The bare-chested husband was beside her.Yowza! Talk about a story with legs.I've been encouraged by editors in the past to try and flesh out a story - but I don't think this is what they had in mind!The reporter, Amy Jacobson, has been fired. Her journalistic career may be in shambles. Although you know it's the American way to try and cash in on a scandal so we likely haven't see the last of her.You can read the full story by clicking HERE
.And I ask you to weigh in on the question that no doubt is bouncing around many newsrooms and journalism schools as we speak.Did Amy Jacobson actually do anything wrong?
After all, nobody's accusing her of sleeping with the husband. Or doing anything other than attend what appears to be an informal pool party on her day off, even bringing her two children with her for a swim.Some might call that good journalism. Cultivating sources is a major part of what we do to develop the stories delivered to you on a daily basis.You do lunches, drinks, maybe play a round of golf every now and then. It's pretty standard stuff.So why is Jacobson now looking for work?If I were to go out for dinner one evening with a woman whose husband was missing, with the purpose of developing a bond and getting a story, would I have crossed some line?Now what if one of my female colleagues were to do the same thing, but with the husband of a missing woman?It shouldn't make any difference. Yet I can't help but think it would make ALL the difference based on what's happening here.Of course, this wasn't a dinner meeting. It was a pool party. And Jacobson is being grilled for her attire, although was she expected to wear a business suit to go swimming? And once again, would there have been any issue if the genders were reversed?Post your thoughts below. And click HERE to cast your vote on this issue in my latest website jury poll.