Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Lesson In Ethics

The assignment for this post is to answer three questions, given by Professor Flanagan, about ethics. My answers to the questions will be in blue, the questions in black.

1. Is it ethical for a reporter to write a news piece on the same topic on which he or she has written an opinion piece in the same paper?
It is not ethical for a reporter to write a news story in this case. The job of a journalist is to report the news without bias. Writing an opinion column will contain bias and whether or not the reporter intended to include his or her opinion, there is a higher chance that it will happen due to the opinion column.

2. Freelance journalists and photographers accept cash to write about, or take photos of, events with the promise of attempting to get their work on the AP or other news outlets, from which they also will be paid. Is that ethical?
I don't think that it's ethical to accept cash from the person the story is being written about or what is being photographed unless it is stated and explained somewhere, if the reporter/photographer is also being paid by the company which will be publishing it. If he or she is doing it specifically for the company/person and will not be getting paid from another outside source, then it is ethical (again, as long is payment was noted somewhere).

3. Can a journalist reveal a source of information after guaranteeing confidentiality if the source proves to be unreliable?
No, I don't think they should out a source after guaranteeing confidentiality. For all they know, the source believed what they were saying to be true. The reporter should use that as a lesson to do further investigating onto the topic and should take full responsibility of the incorrect information.

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