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The Media Doesn't Get the Net

I don’t really want to make Ken Hoshowski the subject of this post. I wish his friends and family heartfelt condolences. And, may Hoshowski’s soul rest in peace.

Hoshowski, a Langley resident, was murdered on Tuesday, killed by the estranged husband of a woman he had met through an online dating service.

The reason I am making Hoshowski my subject here today is that I do not believe the media reports on this tragedy do justice to this gentleman’s memory.

In fact, the media has focused on entirely the wrong factors here.

CBC British Columbia’s Headline: “Online date connection leads to murder”

The Vancouver Sun: “Internet romance ends in US murder of BC man”

The Calgary Herald: “Internet date proves to be kiss of death”

What these headline suggest is that it is the Internet that is really at fault here. And I am having real trouble seeing the connection.

Hoshowski unfortunately landed in the middle of a nasty domestic dispute, a relationship gone seriously sour.

He could have easily thumbed through the newspaper classifieds, answered an ad with a letter rather than an email, and met the very same tragic end.

All too often, the media negatively and sensationally portrays the Internet. I guess it is an easy target.

Yes, the Internet can be a tool for criminals and bad people. But, as much if not more, it is a conduit for great positive things.

I wrote a whole column last August about the wonderful woman I met through the Internet and eventually (not soon enough) married.

Some would say that the main purpose of a newspaper or TV news broadcast is to sell advertisements.

Seen in that light, the more negative and sensational, so much the better.

But, we need journalists who are so much more than that. We need stories that portray a fair and accurate picture of our world.

The Internet is not an easy topic to cover. I know. But, it is imperative we keep trying to explain it well.

The Internet had nothing to do with the murder of Ken Hoshowski. In fact, it may have brought him love and companionship in what he did not know were his final days.


Mickael Maddison

The media is generally more concerned with numbers of viewers (readers, listeners) than portraying truth.

It's a similar problem to politics. There's no clear and easy way to hold the media or the politicians accountable for their actions. Not all media nor all politicians abuse the system, but too many do. In their defense however, perhaps they truly don't realize or recognize when they've crossed the line.

I pray for this man's family and friends.

Vicki Smith (CalGal)

As someone who found the real deal on line, I hear you on this one Arjun.

And although it may not be a good fit for this particular story, the one good thing that may come out of this kind of publicity is that it **may** be read by some one new to the 'net who hadn't given as much thought as s/he needs to about how to stay safe when making new friends.

It's not a whole lot different actually than staying safe when meeting people in more traditional ways, but folks aren't great at that either.

Arjun Singh

Journalists and editors do have more responsibilty on their shoulders than almost any other profession. But, rightly so.

I would love to see some stuff like tips on blind dates, which would encompass Internet dating as well.

Tedd McHenry

Thank you for doing your part to dampen the media spasm surrounding Ken's tragic death.

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