Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Price of Information

Katie Cameron

a.       Maybe It’s Not so Obvious
b.      Checkbook Journalism’s Slippery Slope
c.       Common Ethical Issues in Public Relations

After reading three different articles, (listed above) I've lost most, if not all, hope for journalists' integrity and credibility.  A few bad mistakes made in the past opened doors for future mistakes and issues.

Pay Day

It completely makes sense that officers and other government officials withhold information from journalists unless there is payment involved. This makes sense because if the first journalist looking for a story does not have a form of payment, the officer or government official can withhold information until a journalist willing to pay comes along. Everyone wins in this situation, because the source receives money and the journalist receives information for a story that other journalists probably do not have yet.
Why has journalism come to this? Are journalists really willing to risk their careers for a story? Is journalism better today than it was in the past because of the payment method? No. This article about good investigative journalism and how it works best without paying sources talks about this issue. 

What are Morals? 

Today's journalists seem to have lost their sense of morals and ethics. In my opinion, I think all journalism outlets should enforce a code of ethics that spells out what a journalist can do and cannot do. NPR has a great code of ethics but I think it should be more in depth with what specific journalists can do and cannot do. Can a sports reporter on ESPN also have a side job working as an announcer at the local NFL stadium? Does that make the sports reporter biased at all, and will the public trust him/her to report honestly? 

Journalism should always tell the truth and journalists should always have integrity and commitment to their stories. Journalism is not always truthful, which makes it less credible. Because of this, the public's trust has been broken. 

So... What do we do? 

Journalism needs to stick to the truth at all times and always stay true to its code of ethics. This is why I believe each journalism source should have their code of ethics spelled out for each and every journalist to read and follow. Sure, there will be a few journalists that will ruin their career and name for a story or something they are passionate about, but let's ensure this number stays minimal by creating an in-depth code of ethics to follow. 
Paying for information should be against the rules. The price of information should be free. If payment for information sticks, the price will only increase and information will be harder to obtain. There should be rules against paying for information. Information should be free because getting information to the public is important. 

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