Where Do You Draw the Line?

(Photo Courtesy of The Wire Wikia)


As a journalism student, the character Scott Templeton went against everything that I have ever learned about the profession. As a journalist, the job is to gather facts and report facts. Made up stories are saved for the fiction books, not the front page. This Baltimore Sun reporter angered me more and more as he continued to pile on the lies, all beginning with the Baltimore Orioles boy story.

On a post by the blog “Discovering the Wire”, I felt they explained Templeton’s character accurately.

“Templeton can be very entertaining. He discovers first hand that once you start one lie, you’ll spend the rest of your days trying to keep it afloat. He ends up getting caught in a very big lie, involving many different players. This makes for great television when he actually receives a call from the “killer” that he has never actually talked to.

Templeton’s overall development was pretty weak, relative to other characters on the show that lie, cheat, and steal, which is disappointing considering David Simon is a former journalist himself. While his motivations for false journalism are pretty thin, and he gets tangled in a weakly developed web of lies spun by McNulty and Lester, everyone can relate to covering your tracks after lying about something. And everyone can identify with that lasting anxiety when you know it’s about to be exposed. One of the worst moments in the show is when Scott Templeton receives the Pulitzer award and Gus is stuck as the copy manager, another example of the Wire showing that reality is not always just.”

A great moment that this posting refers to is McNulty’s interaction with Templeton at the police station. See the clip here:

It all just makes me think how badly the newspaper industry is struggling if they have to resort to fabricated stories to gain an audience. It is not longer about selling the news and reporting the news. It is about pushing copies off the news stand and awards. As a student looking to go into this field, it is very disheartening to see and scary to think of the future.


About Amanda

I'm a senior at American University majoring in Broadcast Journalism with minors in Marketing and Multimedia Art. I am an avid sports fan and have worked for the Washington Wizards/Mystics, ESPN 980 Radio, the Lexington Legends, iHigh.com and as a sports reporter for a local Washington, D.C. newspaper. I look to pursue a career in Sports Journalism production for both television and the web.


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