"Avoiding real, potential, or perceived conflicts of interest builds the trust of clients, employers, and the publics"
The guidelines for public relations in media states that a member must act in the best interest of their client or employer, subordinating one's personal interests. We have to keep our personal and professional business separate, disclose conflicts of interest to our effected clients and organizations, and to make sure a conflict doesn't exist. This is to earn the trust and respect of clients, as well as keeping credibility within the journalism community and also the public. As a journalist, maintaining credibility is vital to your career. If you are caught paying up a source for information or having personal ties in your own story that could elevate your status or make you money, that is unethical. We are supposed to be objective and uninvolved. Being involved is what muddies the water of the fair truth.
So why do reporters pay for information if it will affect their credibility?
The truth: reporters have been bribing since journalism has been alive. It's not illegal. With pressure coming from all sides - family, friends, competitors, and employers - bribing is only a part of life for some. "It’s clear that this culture of bribing public officials for information comes directly from the culture of paying non-officials for information." Rupert Murdoch created his own approach. He made it an advantage against his competitors by openly admitting to being unethical and unfollowing of the rules that apply in journalism.