The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 25, 1974, Page page 5, Image 5

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    The media
the victims
. john
Considering the current competition for
front page space between hostages and
assorted body parts, it seems a critical time
to reflect on the news media, . its
responsibilities to the general public and its
responsibilities to the individual in a free
Our first case involves the kidnaping of
newspaper editor Reg Murphy, who was
supposedly being held by the American
Revolutionary Army (ARA). He was
abducted only two weeks after the Patricia
Hearst kidnaping and was being held for a
$700,000 ransom.
The ARA, a right wing organization,
claims the kidnaping was a response. to a
news media that have been "too leftist and
too liberal." In addition to the ransom
demand, the ARA claimed that its
organization is "stronger, better organized,
better disciplined and better spread around
that the SLA" (the Symbionese Liberation
A week ago in this column, I predicted
the Hearst kidnaping would be only the
beginning, and today 1 can safely make the
same prediction about the Murphy
Kidnaping seems to have much of the
appeal skyjacking had. It offers a chance for
power and recognition on the 5:30 p.m.
news. As of this writing, Hearst has been
held for 18 days, and on each of these days
the major news sources-radio, TV, and
newspapers-have covered, analyzed and
covered again that particular day's
Is it any wonder another radical political
group has demanded equal time?
Our second case involves the death of a
young Lincoln girl and the arrest of her
possible killer. The girl had been missing for
months when body parts were found near
Table Rock.
The next evening a local television station
not only showed film of fanner "Jones"
pointing out where he found the head, but
accompanied it with detailed speculation of
where the rest of the body was and how it
may have been scattered. That is important
news. I'm sure the girl's parents and friends
were glad to know.
Soon after the discovery of true body, a
suspect was arrested. Within the day, his
name and face were in every Lincoln home
along with a label: murderer.
You may say, "But this is the public's
right to know. We must know to protect
ourselves." It seems the question is "Who
needs protection?"
The accused is in jail. He cannot hurt
anyone. But the premature label of murderer
and the rolls of news film can hurt him. If he
is not guilty, what defense does he have?
These examples illustrate the conflict in
responsibility of a free press.
In the first example, the media actually
becomes the tool and plaything of the
kidnapers, heightening their sense of power
by reporting their every whim or comment.
And by doing so, the press may well be
assuring the abduction of someone else. One
must surely ask if the public is being served.
In the second case, it becomes a question
of satisfying the traffic accident curiosity of
the general public or allowing individuals to
endure tragedy in private.
These are not easy questions to resolve,
because they demand an accurate and
mature definition of news itself. Yet the
time is such that they must be considered.
Dear editor,
Regarding iviary Cannon's
column against abortion (Daify
Nebrsskan, Feb. 21).
The problem with an issue
like this, "an unruly issue," as
Cannon says, is that the
supportive and dissenting
arguments go around in circles.
For every pro argument, there
is a con. For every person who
is aghast at the thought of
abortion, there Is one who
believes in it
Cannon, I think, loses sight
of two facts. First, abortion is
a private, moral decision.
Second, women are seeking
and will probably continue to
seek abortions, no matter what
the political climate.
Since that is the reality of
abortion, the least women
deserve is a safe one.
So, before we get into a
round of debates concerning
murder, battered children,
promiscuity, contraceptive
failure, etc, let's partially
reconcile the facts. Those who
do not believe in abortion are
in no way being infringed
upon. Those who do believe in
abortion, for whatever reason,
are free to live in accord with
their beliefs.
Sue Aitcheson
we stock several hundred titles with new titles
arriving weekly
as usual all books discount priced
Ten 0 'doc's Sefiefcr
around the corner from Dirt Cheap
1017 "Q
The Tab of the White Hair Girl
Date: Feb. 26, 1974
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Place: Sheldon Art uailery
Admission: member-50 cents
Non-member-75 cents
Program: 1) Masterpieces of Chinese Art
2) Documentaries from China
Sponsored By: Chinese Student Association
Nominations for Dltlgulthed Teaching Award ar now being
ccoDtsd by the varlou college. Student are Invited, Indeed urged, to
make tuch nomination. Simply follow direction outlined by your
Agriculture: , , ,,, . , . .
Submit nomination and upportlve material to Office of Resident
Instruction, co T. E. Hartung, 103 Agrl Mall.
"Contact "Dan' Of flea, 104 Arch.
lmnXd nomination form from OW. Oft.c.13
Ml Send malarial to Joan W.dlow, 1223 Oldf ether Hall
Contact Oaan' Offlca, 240 CBA.
Dent it try
Submit nomination end supportive matarlal to Or. William 8.
Krtrrmr, Dental Building, East Campuc
Engineering Technology
Maka nomination through departmental student organisation.
rn5nt'Tt,irou Bh tha Student Advisory Council or directly to the
Dean' Offlca, 101-C Food and Nutrition Building.
-and when you say Bod-you've said it all!
. .r. nuaria thrauoh an Ini-coDaae process. Contact Dean'
nfuniiii.'" " if-
Nominate throuyh Student Advisory Boerd or directly to the Dean'.
Office, 101 Teacher coueoe.
I liefer I
I M k'AI IN flQTRiri! ITHR
page 5
monday, februsry 25, 1974
daily nebrsskan