There's nothing wrong with suggesting themes or story ideas to journalists. They feed off of that sort of input, even if they don't use your specific suggestions.
However, telling them what not to write just gets their backs up. I've followed up with journalists to propose that revealing too many how-to details of a robbery victim's security set-up helps other robbers more than it helps the public. But I wasn't telling them they shouldn't write about the robbery.
When Apple sent their handlers to help tech journalist Tom Yager understand how misguided he was in pursuing a story, they tried to convince him he was pursuing a topic that was so obscure no one cared about it.
Isn't that what the editors are supposed to decide?
It's frustrating when the story you want journalists to write about is being ignored for the scandal of the day. Or even worse, when a journalist seems to be on a vendetta that zeroes in on one point of view to the exclusion of all others.
Organizations can argue with writers and their editors about what should and should not be the focus of editorial coverage. But a complaining phone call can feed the fire, instead of putting it out.
It's not a question of ethics. Complain all you want. Just don't underestimate the stubbornness of journalists when they're told that a topic shouldn't be pursued.
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