Thursday, May 21, 2009

Newspaper Deadlines: Truth vs Money

By Ryan Scarpino

After watching The Paper, I was amazed at the number of ethical dilemmas that the newsroom faced. It's just a movie, but I know that journalists face these problems on a daily basis. Here was one of the dilemmas facing the newsroom: a deadline.

We as journalists have to be on time when it comes to stories. And some of you are probably thinking, "Duh!" But what if you don't have the full story? What do you do? Do you delay until you find out the true story like Michael Keaton's character did? Or do you run the story knowing the information is false? To me one of these options sounds very unethical.

What is more important, reporting the truth or losing money because you missed a deadline? To me, the truth is ALWAYS the most important part of a story. But Glenn Close's character chose to run the story knowing it was false. Luckily she came to her senses and stopped the presses and allowed the true story to be printed. She even said, "We'll get it wrong today and get it right tomorrow."

Libel, Anyone
Like I said before, I know The Paper is just a movie. But deep down I know journalists have done whatever they could to meet a deadline. I just could not believe that someone would actually publish something that they knew was false. Getting it wrong today and not tomorrow is not acceptable. Getting it wrong should never even be an option. Is that not a reckless disregard for the truth? In this time of a great demand for news, we as journalists have to make sure we don't make these mistakes. I know I won't, and I hope my fellow journalists won't either.

By the way, WHAT A CAST!
Trailer for The Paper

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