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An open letter to MSNBC.com, and other news media

Earlier today I wrote a letter to the online feedback section at MSNBC.com.  My confidence is high that my letter will fall onto deaf ears, therefore I decided to post it verbatim here.  I encourage your comments. Normally, I would provide links to the original story, but I'm not going to dignify MSNBC nor the Westboro Baptist Church with a hot link. I'm sure you'll be able to find it if you search, but the original story isn't worth reading.

-- An open letter to MSNBC (and other news media in general) --

I read another story today about Westboro Baptist Church, who are apparently planning a publicity stunt at the funeral of Elizabeth Edwards.

Not only, by publishing this article, are you giving credence to their views, but you are reporting news before it has happened.

I studied broadcast journalism in college, I learned the difference between what is news and what isn't news. First, it's not news until it's already happened. Second, it isn't news unless it has context and consequence.

Today journalists, particularly television journalists, have failed the American public. They withhold stories that might impact advertising, and they report stories of no consequence.

Just because you have video, doesn't make it news.

The most glaring example was the explosive amount of coverage given to a so-called Christian pastor who never burned a Koran. His church of a handful of people would have been unheard of and had no consequence had it not been for the media. Because of the media, the circus ended up drawing in a General, the Secretary of State, and even some attention from President Obama. The media should be ashamed of themselves, but apparently you failed to learn a lesson.

Jason Tweed

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