Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ethics in Journalism

Each journalist must have a personal code of ethics in order to obtain any credibility in the field. We all have a conscience, which helps us to know right from wrong. Even if our personal compasses do not point due north in every decision, when we work in the field of journalism our integrity is being watched and therefore, cannot be compromised. A journalist's conscience plays a huge role in his/her day-to-day life. Personally, I think a journalist should already have a plan if a decision arises. Yes, it's a deadline-oriented field. Yes, it's an extremely stressful industry. But, if this is your path, then you know of possible circumstances that can arise. It's best to already know how you will respond if the opportunity to plagiarize comes about. Here are some predesigned guidelines. Sure, when you are under a crunch you may be tempted to take a short-cut or use someone else's work without proper citation. I feel if you have your mind made up those thoughts are less likely to enter.

Newsrooms need not only a diversity of races, but also a diversity of backgrounds. Each individual brings something unique to the table. We all have various backgrounds. Did we grow up in big city, or a small suburb? Everything in our past shapes us into what we are today. Here are some diversity guidelines that some newsrooms have already adopted. If you have a newsroom full of people with similar mindsets, how is that going to help your audience? Your audience is most likely a wide array of various people with differing backgrounds. A newsroom should almost be a small sample size of the targeted audience.

I feel that every journalist is responsible for ethical journalism. Every person that works to print a newspaper or works to get the newscast on throughout the day should be dedicated and work toward high ethical standards. I also think an ethical journalist has the public's best interest at heart. Bob Woodward is one that comes to mind. Because newsrooms are not democracies they are dictatorships, news directors must be ethical journalists. They are ultimately in charge.

I agree with most of what was said in class. I thought this presentation was extremely informative and it made me think of new ideas as well. I also feel that ideally, newsrooms should be a place where diversity and conscience can thrive. I do feel that our appearance, personality, and qualities could stop us from rising in this profession. It is the role of citizens, not consumers, to watch what they support so specific ratings increase and journalists know where they stand.
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