Comm issues

This is my blog site I'll be using for my Mass Comm & Society class as well as my Editing/Design class. I will be posting my thoughts on topics that I feel need noted upon that arise in class.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Consequences of exaggeration

How professional is it to exaggerate a story? What if it will help bring awareness to an issue? A Maryland newspaper editor wrote an article about teens and the so-called "sex parties" in one particular county. The problem is no one seems to know how reliable his sources were.
Cindy Marucci-Bosley, women's health program manager for the Carroll County Health Department, told The Examiner that "There's a huge number of 16- and 17- year-olds who say they've had 30 or 40 [sex] partners." She later said she had been misquoted by the paper; she had allegedly qualified her statement to say that the girls had 30 or 40 sex partners over the course of their lives, not in one particular evening. "Everyone kept adding things," she said later at a presentation to parents in Westminster, "and making assumptions you just can't make." She says she heard about the parties from Mark Yount, a Carroll County drug counselor.
Larry Leitch, health officer for the Carroll County Health Department, heard of the teen-sex parties from Marucci-Bosley, who says she heard it from Yount, who, in turn, says two teenagers told him. Despite the recent media coverage, though, Leitch says he doesn't know whether the rumors reported are true.

This issue should make any journalist question if this article was appropriate or not to print regarding the sources used. It seems to me the majority of the information used in the article was from traveling rumors and shouldn't have been printed. Yet on the other hand, this is an urgent issue that needs to have attention brought to it.


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