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Potential jurors show disdain of the mediaMay 8, 2012 @ 6:36 pm (Updated: 7:12 pm - 5/8/12 )
As prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed on a jury in the Steve Powell voyeurism case, it was clear many of the 56 potential jurors had heard about the case and had a distrust of the media.
In seating the jury of seven men, seven women (12 jurors and two alternates), attorneys asked questions about how much information they'd received about the case from the press.
One potential juror heard news accounts of the Powell case and turned off the radio or TV before getting too much information.
A man said he turned off the TV when he heard the Powell story on the news.
Another possible juror characterized the news media as being "lazy, inaccurate" and driven by ratings or selling papers.
"Most of the reports are strictly for ratings. I wouldn't try and make a judgment from a news broadcast I hear on television," said another.
Potential jurors aren't the only ones turning a mirror on the press. A veteran journalist also has doubts about the judgment of members of the press.
"As I've gone around the country, a lot of people say to me, 'What's happened with the press? What's happened with political coverage in America. We don't feel connected to it,'" says Tom Brokaw, who recently talked about how the press isn't serving the public the way it should.
Brokaw raised the issue after the annual White House Correspondents Dinner, which he says shows there's a "disconnect" between what the public needs to know and what journalists think is important.
"If there's ever an event that separates the press from the people that they're supposed to serve, symbolically, it is that one. It is time to rethink it," he said earlier this week.
A Seattle website developer believes the disconnect is real, and he says if news organizations want to survive they need to adapt.
Ben Huh, founder of the Cheezburger network humor sites, is getting ready to launch a news site. Yes, the same guy who gained fame with pictures of cats and funny captions.
He says it "pains him" to see that journalism isn't rethinking how it presents news. Huh believes media organizations need to look at they way they approach content "from scratch." That's what he's doing as he builds a news website that's expected to be up by summer.
In an interview with the Nieman Journalism Lab, Huh says Circa will be "more diverse in terms of ideas, a broader community that cares about the truth and the facts, a much more vigorous debate, and a more civil debate."
Now I'm holding a mirror - one eye closed because I know you can be blunt - and you're looking over my shoulder. What would you like the media to see that we don't get? What do we need to improve?
AP Photo/Rick Egan Steve Powell appears in court for his voyeurism trial at the Pierce County Superior Court, in Tacoma. Opening statements will be heard Wednesday.
By LINDA THOMAS
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