Friday, November 21, 2014

The weekly read

Talking Ethics:  Competition vs. Consideration
Bill Mitchell
The Poynter Institute

May 19, 1998 was a dark day for the law enforcement community in west central Florida. Hank Earl Carr, a convicted felon, had shot and killed his girlfriend's four-year-old son, was arrested, managed to escape his handcuffs and killed two Tampa detectives and a state trooper, eventually barricading himself in a gas station with a hostage before succumbing to a possibly self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Hank Earl Carr arrested by Tampa Detectives Randy Bell (left) and Rick Childers (far right)
What made that event so memorable, however, was the way that certain members of the Tampa media inserted themselves into the narrative of the event, with a news radio station conducting a phone interview with the assailant during the stand off.

Mitchell's series on the actions of the reporters that day is an interesting discussion of the ethical decisions made that day and what journalists can learn from those events.

Tom Iovino, Public Information Specialist
Pinellas County, Florida

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