Day 141: Be told off for being a journalist

January 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

Today I experienced my first rant of hatred directed against me and my future profession.

I was working on an article that required calling around to local tanning salons. I was asking the owners if they thought a new study, finding the “healthy glow” one gets from eating excess fruits and vegetables to be more attractive than conventional tanning, to be a threat to their business.

Because few people would realistically consider eating five to six more serving of fruits and veggies per day, I was not expecting anyone to actually be threatened. My professor simply thought they would laugh it off and it would make for an entertaining comment.

Instead, an owner of a tanning salon absolutely ripped into me.

Comments included:

You people [journalists] are always just pandering to the government and pharmaceutical companies.”

“People like you who work for newspapers and TV and radio stations get paid by the pharmaceutical companies to tell people what they want to hear.”

“The problem is that you have no integrity to say the truth. I find news reporters not to be ethical anymore. I personally think the study is wrong. It’s trumped up BS.”

At one point he even told me that the employees at his business who were listening in felt bad for me (because of the telling off he was giving me), but he seemed to feel that their sympathy was misplaced.

Surprisingly, the entire thing didn’t bother me. I can be a pretty sensitive person at times, but for some reason I didn’t take a word he said personally in the slightest. Maybe it’s because I know deep down in my heart that I’m no pharmaceutical panderer. It was probably the most entertaining interview I’ve ever done or will ever do for some time, even if I didn’t get to use any of those comments in my story.

Is it wrong to feel somewhat refreshed?




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