Friday, January 05, 2007

To clap or not to clap? That is the question

Young Tyrone gets up at a town meeting and starts speaking about being posted up by the police -- having his pockets searched, being thrown up against the wall, etc. He's articulating his point very well. Talking to the newly-appointed police commissioner cannot be the easiest thing in the world to do.

"That's it and...thank you for letting me speak."


I start clapping too. With approval.

Reality check came when I glanced over at the other two reporters, Mssrs. Stone and Cold. Both were stoic. Unflappable. Unnatural?

I like for people I interview in settings the town meeting covered the other night to know that I live in the community that I cover. I want them to know that I have a pulse, that I care and that I'm not just there "getting the story." However, I didn't clap for the rest of the night. Was I right?

Posted by Darren Sands at 1:33 PM | link

Read or Post a Comment

When I'm at meetings, I don't clap. Usually because I'm too busy writing. When I hear claps, that's because whatever was said before was great - so I'm usually trying to write it down. But sometimes I don't say the pledge of allegiance, or participate in prayers at meetings or ceremonies. Not out of disrespect but because I feel that would make me a part of the meeting that I'm supposed to observe. But what I do varies depending upon the situation. It's a weird tightrope we walk. We're humans, but we're there to do a job.

Another site I read,, posted about this recently - good read if you have the time.

There aren't many hard and fast rules in journalism - especially on clapping. So do what makes you feel comfortable, just make sure it doesn't keep you from doing your job.

Posted by Blogger T Dot @ 4:12 PM, January 05, 2007 #

I make the mistake of getting so into a meeting or an event sometimes that I clap right along with everyone else. LOL I use a recorder and often forget to focus on taking notes along with the recorder.

Most of my professor have cautioned me on clapping because of the issue of missing something by reacting to emotionally by what was said.

I totally don't think you were wrong. If something deserve applause, then clap--journalist or not.

Posted by Blogger Aaron Morrison @ 11:38 PM, January 08, 2007 #
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