Monday, May 04, 2015
When should a reporter become part of a story? Some say never. That is why this journalist is causing angst among purists. Sanjay Gupta is a neurosurgeon and reporter for CNN. He has a habit in crises of pitching in and helping the wounded, especially when there are no other qualified medical staff available. From a medical perspective, it is just common sense that he do so. From a news standpoint, he becomes part of the story that might overshadow the news of suffering and tragedy. Aside from the obvious question of why he is a TV reporter in the first place, Sanjay Gupta has a duty to provide care in the wake of disaster. That trumps journalistic ethics, but at the same time, critics point out that his relief work should not be the story. They suggest a solution: Provide care but don't report on it. That is possible, of course, but CNN might object that Gupta is not telling the whole story. There is no easy answer. CNN wants his expertise and is willing to accept and promote his medical work. Editors grind their teeth in frustration over intrusion of a reporter into the news.