Yes I am one of those HBO fanatics and enjoy any series that the HBO franchise puts together. And my love for HBO series has not changed with the debut of the new series The Newsroom. If you are not an obsessive HBO fan or a huge admirer of anything coming from the mind of the creator of The West Wing, The Newsroom is a behind-the-scenes look at the people who make a nightly cable-news program. Focusing on the anchor and producer, the series tracks their mission to do the news well in the face of corporate and commercial obstacles-not to mention their own personal entanglements. So how does this unrealistic HBO show have in common with our blog theme this week?
In Episode 6, entitled “Bullies”, Sloan Sabbith, the network’s financial news reporter, converses-in Japanese-with Daisuke Tanaka, an old acquaintance who is also the spokesman for a Japanese energy company. After she clears the room, he tells her that the nuclear reactor may be causing a Level 7 radiation leak, even though the company has been saying publically it’s at Level 5. She goes to Will, head anchor, for guidance about leaking the truth or not and he tells her not to let anyone tell a lie on her air.
(The scene of sloan speaking japanese in the interview is below)
Sloan’s report has been making waves in Japan, and Tanaka’s company fires him. Charlie figures out a way for Sloan to save face and to restore Tanaka’s honor: Since the Japanese words for four and seven sound alike, Sloan is to lie on air and say she misunderstood him because she is not fluent.
Should Sloan ruin her reputation for the sake of the network? She was only telling the truth. Later in the show, Tanaka’s energy company does announce they are at a Level 7 leak. Is telling the truth more important than Daisuke’s job?
Sloan’s one action of incorrect leaking of information can ruin the credibility of the network as a whole; all the anchors, producers, and worker’s credibility. But the information leaked gets viewer, making the network successful and rewarded for getting the news first. Media is the only factor in my eyes of how the public perceives everything; politics, religion, the economy. Unless citizens witness first hand experiences of these issues, everyone else relies on the media. So should Sloan ruin her reputation to save the network so they are not seen as providing society with false information? Sloan was right with her translation and was correct about the radiation level, but she needs to ruin her reputation of not knowing Japanese fluently in order for the entire network as a whole to stay creditable.