Poor Journalism by 60 MinutesPosted: February 23, 2012
A recent episode of 60 Minutes on the nation of Qatar was imprecise and disrespectful to both the nation and the legitimacy of journalism
To begin the series of unfortunate mishaps, Bob Simon, who was covering the story, mispronounced the name of the nation of Qatar. Did the producers not catch the mispronunciation, or did they just approach the mistake with a potato/po-totto dismissal? The least a reporter can do is pronounce the name of their topic correctly. Comments by those online about the mispronunciation dismissed the fault, as if the name of the topic being focused on should be disregarded.
Simon then goes on to report about the Al Jazeera, Qatar’s dominant news source, and how “it does something unprecedented in the Arab world. It covers the news.” This comment is very disrespectful to those risking their lives daily to cover news in Arab countries such as Syria and Iraq.
Although Simon was trying to describe how unique Al Jazeera is through his comment, he took unnecessary extents to prove his point. Was it fair for Simon to discredit the work of other journalists in order to prove his point?
Simon’s story was doomed after he pronounced the name Qatar wrong, but failed after he indirectly stated that nations in the Arab world fail to report news.