Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Freebie or Failure

Tiffany Bey

The first thing that popped up when I googled the phrase "Conflict of Interest" was an article that listed the basic things you should not do as a journalist, and the one that stood out to me the most was "Don't accept freebies or gifts from sources". Although this is the one that stood out to me the most, there are many other conflicts of interest.

Prior to reading the article "Love Those Perks! / Critics Sound Off on the Ethics of Music Journalism" that we were assigned to read for class, I'd never thought how inappropriate accepting gifts and freebies from someone you're working for is. As a journalist, it is our duty to get the story and facts the most ethical way, and by accepting gifts and freebies could tarnish that. It could be seen as bribery and inappropriate. 

In 2012, there was some speculation of a journalist from NPR that accepted money from the government in relation to a case, and the question was, was it "subjective journalism" or "lazy journalism". These are the kind of incidents that we as journalist want to avoid because the conflict of interest can deteriorate the brand that your working for and can also damage your reputation as well.

In my opinion, I would feel really bad turning these gifts and freebies down, but it is a part of the job. In the article "Love Those Perks! / Critics Sound Off on the Ethics of Music Journalism", it states that "The ultimate challenge is to do good work based on fundamental respect for the community of artists and audiences in which you participate". Although, the person may feel that you are disrespectful for turning down their gift, just remember that your job and reputation is way more important. You are doing yourself a favor!

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