Friday, November 28, 2008

Who broke the news room!?

Scott Templeton, one of the writers for The Baltimore Sun in The Wire

HBO's series, The Wire, exposed a lot of information about Baltimore's police department, newspaper and the crime going on in the local city neighborhoods. Whether it was true or not, I'm not exactly sure, but I enjoyed watching it and it opened my eye to a lot of things about my hometown.

When I watched the first episode, I noticed that none of the new, young reporters had no moral. The newsroom was very unhealthy and one reporter, Alma, didn't even know how to write a lead. Scott Templeton lied about a kid named E.J. being at the Orioles Stadium in a wheel chair, in episode two. No one could find clips about the kid being shot and Templeton didn't get a photo of the kid.

In episode three, Alma's story about 3 found dead in a house in Baltimore City, didn't make the front page. The Sun obviously had their priorities mixed up. Also in this episode, Whiting tells the staff that news as a whole is shrinking because advertising is down and also competition with technology. He tells them that the overseas papers have been shut down and there will be a "fresh round of buyouts."

Scott Templeton was the fabricator. He fabricated stories about E.J., the woman who died from an allergic reaction from a crab cake, Nathan Levi Boston and Terry Hanning (the homeless men) and a quote from an anonymous homeless woman at the candlelight visual (episode 8). Then, McNulty caught Templeton lying about the last homeless murder. He made up everything about the phone calls, quotes and the gray van that was supposedly leaving the scene of the murder. What really shocked me was Episode 10. Alma got transferred to the Carroll County office even though she actually did honest work, but Scott received a Pulitzer Prize for dishonest work. If The Wire was true then I would never want to work at The Baltimore Sun or read their publication ever again,

Overall I felt The Sun was corrupt, unprofessional, uninformed and it's just not a good newspaper. Hardly any of the rules of journalism or ethics were followed. I think Gus Haynes was the only honest person there. He did his job and he knew that Templeton was a liar from day one. When you are a honest person and do honest work, your reward never comes or if it does it takes a while to come to you, but those who lie and do dishonest work receive instant satisfaction.

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