Title: Responsible Journalism and the Spider-Man: by Peter Parker
Summary: Third in a series of revealing essays by alter egos
Note: this is obviously set in a time when Peter still worked at the Daily Bugle.
Responsible Journalism and the Spider-Man
By Peter Parker
Recently the Daily Bugle has come under increased scrutiny for its editorial stance on the Spider-man situation, and I have found my photographs in particular under attack. I think the time has come to put forward my opinion on just why it is so imperative the Daily Bugle continues as it is.
Since the very start of the Spider-man problem, I have been staying very close to the subject, taking pictures at every opportunity. I have a perspective on the situation I believe to be somewhat unique.
First of all, I think we all recognize that Spider-man does a lot of good. (sorry, Jonah) He saves lives. He works towards a better world.
So why do I work for a newspaper that constantly bashes him, you ask?
Journalists have the power to change minds. To frame the debate. To skew your perspective. And that is a power that we too often take for granted and misuse.
The day that we all forget that this man lives outside the law is the day we decide that the law doesn't matter.
A journalist has to think about more than whether what a man's doing is right. He has to think about what sort of example is being set. He has to worry about copycats. And let's face it; apparently this spider-dude is not entirely human.
A copycat has about as good odds of getting themselves killed as of helping at all. A person who sets the law aside for the "greater good" is just as likely to go over the top and decide to take care of things like justice and due process while they're at it—witness Frank Castle, the Punisher.
No, we don't need any more like Spider-man. One of him is probably one too many.
We have a duty to discourage people from trying to be like him. What kind of person would choose power like that? Power corrupts—absolute power corrupts absolutely. The police can't bring him in. Over the year various other superheroes have tried and failed. If he is above the law, as he has demonstrated, then we have no choice but stand against him, to reveal his exploits.
Because where a person, a journalist, can make a difference—where they might save even one life—they have an absolute responsibility to step into the gap and save that life. Failure to do so is as good as murder.
Journalists have power. Great power. Power to turn public opinion against Spider-man, but also the power to discourage vigilantism, discourage copy-cats, and discourage scofflaws.
With that power comes responsibility.