A serious issue at hand is how to distinguish media reporting from media activism, is it appropriate for well-established media personnel to take part in a protest they are reporting on? By openly endorsing the activity that one party is engaging in as a just course whereas the other is wrong. For instance when there is a conflict between workers of a given factory and their employers. They gather in masses and move into the streets demanding better pay, upon investigating further, the reporter discovers that workers have been experiencing very harsh conditions, so the reporter takes on another role as a workers rights activist, she writes statements which appeared in the evening headlines, describing how dangerous the factory is, “many workers nearly suffocated at basement due to poor air conditioning”, she wrote, “there are also huge sharp objects that have tattered the floors, others protrude from the walls and hang dangerously from the roof, many workers after completing two years of their contract went home with lung disease, physical injuries, etc.”
Such remarks drew the attention of the factory owners from the protesting workers to the journalist herself, “did you come here as a reporter or as a workers rights activist?” which one are you?”
There is a likelihood that taking sides in a dispute by media personnel fuels more conflict when one part feels they are being threatened by their presence.
Should journalists join a group of protesting crowds and mingle with them, hold their banners, shout their slogans, or should they refrain from the commotion, stand far away, watch from a distance describing what is happening without having to involve themselves in any way. “These are workers’ rights at stake here, something must be done, or else…”
This move leads some viewers to hate their once favorite newspersons.