Tuesday, March 27, 2012

WUSA | Reporter gives school censorship lesson

From a Washington Post story yesterday:

WUSA journalist Andrea McCarren knows that news reporting sometimes has unintended consequences — especially since her own children were teased and bullied after her stories on underage drinking aired last month.

So when the student newspaper at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School published an article mentioning her reporting, McCarren objected. The article, she told the school’s principal, could create more trouble for her children, both students there.

Ironic result: A journalist triggered a bit of temporary censorship.


  1. Jim, I understand your point, but I also understand that as a mother you will go to great lengths to protect your children. Bullying is also a very serious issue and if I had to choose between my profession and my children, my children would win every time.

  2. The criminals in this story are not the reporters on the student newspaper; they're the little punks who are bullying her kids. She ought to be demanding that the principal do something about that, instead.

  3. Interesting how the "public's right to know" ends at her doorstep.

    As information about ANYONE becomes easier to attain, I suggest that reporters/bloggers/writers and other content generators will increasingly come under the same scrutiny applied to their subjects.

  4. I'd have done exactly the same thing, no regrets. Hardly a major journalistic princiiple at stake here. Parent first, Gannett slave last.

  5. This is another example of how journalists talk tough but then wilt under the pressure every time. Every single time.

    As someone else said, a real parent would go to the principal and try to put a stop to this. Instead, she chose the weak way out. Great lesson to send to the kids.

    Mom score = 0. I predict failed upbringings ahead.

  6. Agree with the last four posters. What a shameful situation.

  7. Shes a decent journalist in a tough position. I'm not sure what I would do. I suspect her kids told her of the initial story. She did it and then felt the consequences from threats to her kids.


Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

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