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SuperMouse's avatar

Would you allow your child to speak to reporters?

Asked by SuperMouse (30723 points ) December 15th, 2012

I was reading this article about reporters interviewing children after yesterday’s horrific incident. Last night Anderson Cooper emphasized that all of the children were interviewed with their parents’ permission. I really don’t think I can see myself allowing reporters to interview any of my kids after something like this. Would you allow your kids to speak to reporters?

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20 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Only if my children wanted to.

filmfann's avatar

Absolutely not. Reporters don’t care what the child wants to say. They want to tell the story THEY want to tell. The media will make you look stupid, old fashioned, guilty, or contrite, as they choose.
Kids don’t understand that.

Blackberry's avatar

I don’t see why not, but it depends on their age. They’re not always fragile and innocent. Some know what is going on and don’t need to be sheltered.

YARNLADY's avatar

Yes, I see nothing wrong with it. Sometimes it is a good idea to talk it out.

Sunny2's avatar

Yes, if they agreed to it without any coaxing. I was amazed at how well they spoke, particularly under the circumstances.

ucme's avatar

Not a fucking chance!

glacial's avatar

No chance. And the child’s wishes would have absolutely no impact on that. Shame on reporters for even seeking those interviews.

hearkat's avatar

No. I wouldn’t want my child to be a part of the media’s sensationalism. Too many of the reporters don’t really know how to speak with children and could ask leading questions or otherwise manipulate the child into giving them their desired “sound bite”.

Bellatrix's avatar

Very cautiously and only with my supervision. I think these children have a right to speak about the events they have experienced. They have their own real take on what happened and we can learn from them. They do need to be protected from manipulation and exploitation and to ensure they aren’t further harmed by the experience of course. In a carefully managed situation and not as a long, ongoing and drawn out situation, it might be cathartic for them to be able to speak out and say what happened to them and how they felt.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Hell no. I mean I’m way to young to have children right now but watching that on the news really bothered me.

Coloma's avatar

It would depend on the circumstance. If my child was upset and distraught no, if they were calm and telling their story was important to them, yes.

McCool's avatar

I’m torn on this. I don’t have any children, but if I did I don’t think I would let them talk to reporters. Most reporters would care more about the story than they would about the child telling it. Also, I would be worried about the child’s image in the media, and how it could be associated. I would hate to see any children being used as a poster child for whatever group that will be raging against this or that (as in this case, I’m sure there will be many anti-gun groups bringing forth protest). Although, if the child wanted to speak, and they were being supervised by a parent/guardian then I suppose I could understand.

CWOTUS's avatar

In the immediate aftermath of a tragedy such as yesterday’s, or a violent storm, flood, earthquake or other calamity, whether man-made or not, the survivors are often in shock. What “you would never do” in moments of reflection – such as we typically discuss from our living rooms and offices on Fluther in moments of relative calm – go out the window when you’re dealing with victims in shock, or when you’re in shock yourself.

If you really want to see this not happen, then write to the network executives – and the advertisers supporting the news programs – and let them know how opposed you are, and then follow through and turn off those programs and networks showing those interviews.

It doesn’t matter that “you would never” permit or solicit such a thing. The reporters are after whatever “human interest” angle will get people watching their networks, supporting their programs and watching the advertisers who promote it all. So far, it seems to be working pretty well, regardless of your feeling about it.

wundayatta's avatar

Nope. I can’t imagine being around where reporters would be. And if they called the house, I’d say “no thanks,” and hang up. Let some other child do it. No need for mine to get any notoriety out of this event. And you could be sure that people would remember and point at any children who are on TV. I don’t want that kind of attention for my kids. I don’t think they will want it either.

Shippy's avatar

I think it could help in a way. I know when something sinister happens its better when one talks about it. To as many people as possible.

burntbonez's avatar

I don’t have kids, so this is academic for me. Still, it’s hard for me to imagine exposing my children to such uncertainty. Reporters, after all, are not known for their sensitivity.

jonsblond's avatar

If my children want to talk about it, they can talk to their family, friends, teachers or school counselor, but they don’t need to talk to a reporter.

newtscamander's avatar

I don’t think I would, if I had children.
It’s stressful enough for adults to talk into a running camera and have strangers asking prying questions….then add the trauma of such an incident and how hard it is to relive it in your mind….too much for children.
Maybe a year or so after the incident, when the shock has become duller.

NostalgicChills's avatar

I don’t have kids but I would let them only if they wanted to.

augustlan's avatar

My knee-jerk reaction is “no way”. But, giving it more thought, maybe it’s not so clear cut. I think it would depend on the child’s age and, even more so, on their disposition. I can imagine one of my children as a young girl, talking confidently to a reporter and it having no ill effect (affect? Damn it.) on her. My other two, not so much. If I did allow it, I’d be right there.

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