Our View: The paparazzi of politics

DKS Editors

Trackers. They’re the paparazzi of the political world, and they catch those little moments when a politician slips, breaks or just entirely goes against his or her platform.

From a journalism stance, if trackers show up at any public forum, they have just as much right to be present and film or record the event as any other media person does. Trackers have the option to obtain credentials into events, and some choose to follow candidates in their daily lives. But just like anything else, we think there is a zone of respect that needs to be maintained.

In one instance, a county judge called the police after a tracker continued to follow him after the judge left a political event. The tracker, hired to follow a Senate candidate, did not know whom he was to follow, and mistakenly followed the judge until he called the police.

In another instance, a tracker perched himself on a table inches in front of the politician he was assigned to cover.

While the tracker had every right attend the event he was at, his camera had no need to be approximately six inches from the congressional candidate’s face.

Not all politicians respond kindly to the presence of trackers at their events, and some have chosen to consider the meetings closed or private. This classification means they are not public events, and, therefore, the trackers have no set right to attend. Taking this action, though, could prevent even news media from covering the event.

What we present is not that trackers do not serve a purpose in modern media, but rather that they should conduct themselves in a more professional and less invasive manner. Executed ideally, trackers could be even more prevalent watchdogs of campaigning politicians than even the news media that attends events because the trackers are the ones consistently following the politicians.

However, when they overstep respectable boundaries, unnecessarily invading personal space or being entirely uneducated about their assignments, they only get in their own ways. Trackers, like many other professions, represent the profession as whole. When a few step out of line and conduct themselves in a undesirable manner, they lay the ground for that reputation to span all trackers.

Our belief is simple: Trackers serve a purpose, but they need to be more respectful in practice.

The above editorial is the consensus

opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial