Which is more offensive: to use a four-letter word
or to put a man’s suicide on TV news?
A clipping from the Star’s sports page is causing tongues to wag on Facebook, with the cluck-clucking of moral indignation: subs at the Star were accused of being asleep on the job with an implied criticism that coarse language does not belong in a newspaper, and that stories about sex should remain off the front pages (the Alvin and Vivian case).
That’s a cheap shot at a journalistic decision, a knee-jerk reaction typical of many petty criticisms of the press. The suggestion that the sub-editor was asleep on the job is a criticism that could well be applied to journalists at any other newspaper or broadcasting newsroom for the gibberish that is often turned out. Too many journalists do little more than give wire service copy a cursory glance, because it is supposedly “clean”, a lesson they learned from their superiors and mindlessly passed along.