Journalism: Ethics, Conflicts of Interest & More...For journalists, being transparent and unbiased is very important in order for them to gain a sense of trust with their readers. Without this trust, a journalist has zero credibility to stand on, and without that credibility, a journalist can't be successful in his or her field... or so we hope.
Conflicts of Interest
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The list goes on and on.
An article by the Columbia Journalism Review looks at several Rupert Murdoch-owned newspapers and how they admittedly often paid sources large sums of money for "exclusive" reports. Often, people leaking this information would "shop around" for different media organizations who would be willing to shell out large sums of cash to publish the story.
Getting a story should come from good reporting, not bribery. But it doesn't always involve money, either.
For some, it comes from family ties. Some journalists are married or have family members who work within the field that they cover. For example, if a journalist covers foreign policy and has a family member who works under the Secretary of State, it would be seen as biased if the journalist reported on that beat.
Staying away from these conflicts of interest and providing the reader or client with a sense that they can trust us is the base of the entire profession.
According to Pew Research Center, 22% of Americans trust the information they get from local news. As journalists, we're required to ensure the public is informed on a variety of issues, but the only way we can do this is to provide them with a transparent view- an objective look at what's occurring every day.
Nothing more, nothing less.