No matter how you feel about about marijuana, people want to read about it. That’s why ACprimetime is following along in the foot steps of the Associated Press. More serious coverage of cannabis. Especially as it relates to NJ and Atlantic City.
Reader Alan Moore commented on the Editor & Publisher website:
Good idea, cannabis has been improperly covered for decades and needs serious analysis and reporting.Some friendly suggestions:
- Use the term Cannabis rather than Marijuana or Pot (especially in headlines) which carry historically negative connotations. Cannabis is neutral and scientific.
- Refrain from snarky pot jokes or plays on words. How would you like everyone to endlessly joke about “Baker covering the pot beat”? It’s so overdone and insulting.
- Make clear during reporting on scientific results the difference between “association” and “causation”. I’m sure your journalism standards cover this but it is especially important for this topic.
- Try to sort the myths from the truth
- Don’t blindly repeat prohibitionist rhetoric. Just because a government agency or scientific study declares something false, doesn’t make it so.
- Look for bias in sources (pro or con.)
- When reporting on scientific results try to give perspective on the scale/impact (negative or positive) of the results. For example, Cannabis does have an effect on memory but only while under the influence. That doesn’t mean it makes people stupid or do permanent damage to memory function.
I’m sure most of this is common sense and something you already know but I’m just so sick of how Cannabis and it’s users are unfairly portrayed in the media. Prohibition has been way more harmful than the substance itself and too many lives have been ruined as a result.
Thank you for giving this important topic the coverage it deserves! I’m especially glad the AP, as a co-op, is doing this.