Every day there are ethical decisions that impact the hundreds or thousands of people who watch, read, listen, and/or click on a media source. The foundation for making the right decision starts with ethics classes in college. Students in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism will use this blog to reflect on ethical questions in the media today.
Sunday, September 22, 2013
Bribery: Never a Good Idea
Who doesn’t ever want or need a little extra cash?But let me ask you this, would you still take
the cash even though you knew you were putting your job on the line?Why do people, specifically journalists, think
it is okay to get paid from a client?
Ethics are for us to follow
A code of ethics is vital to any type of journalist,
especially nowadays.For any job, really,
people can act shady and participate in acts that are morally incorrect.I think that The Public Relations Society of
America’s “Member Statement of Professional Values” states a very plain, yet
powerful, core principle.It states,
“Avoiding real, potential or perceived conflicts of interest builds the trust
of clients, employers and the publics.”Check out PRSA's code of ethics here. The Society of Professional Journalists has ethics suggestions too. Every
newspaper, TV station, any publication for that matter, wants to have a solid
fan base where their fans trust them.Anytime any employees of some publication lose the trust of their
viewers or readers, they lose credibility as well.
It shouldn’t matter if you are famous or not either.Many TV stations have main talents or main
reporters paying clients for quotes or being paid to say something from the
viewer.This is just downright
unethical.When you get a job in
journalism, ethics should be the No. 1 guide you adhere to.It is always sad when I see “famous” people
being exploited for actions they probably knew better than to commit.
Once in the professional scene, we must hold
ourselves accountable for our own actions and own up to them.There is no reason for professional adults to
be doing such unethical acts that any person with a conscious would know
better than to do.These people are role
models for many, and when they are exposed it decreases many aspects of their
What happened to our morals?
I don’t know about you, but what happened to the good, old-fashioned, gut feeling?Professional
journalists/PR representatives, etc. have to have some type of
heart…right?What happened to good vs.
bad and right vs. wrong?If you
absolutely love your job, why would you cheat your way out of it? To me, it
doesn’t seem right that there have been so many incidents of reporters getting
paid to say something and/or paying for interviews with people.Cheating or taking the easy way out is all
too common.Of course bribery and paying
your way out have been in our society for a while, but it is up to us to stop
that.Maybe the younger professionals
need to show others the proper way to handle situations.
I cannot believe that paying someone for an interview or anything of the sort happens so often or that so many companies know employees are doing things they shouldn’t be and don’t take
any action against it.If you do
something wrong, you should have to take the punishment, and managers should
enforce this.We all have a code of
ethics to follow, no matter what.