What on-going forms of ethics breach do journalists face? Are there any new types arising with the growing speed and competition for news making?
The most recent edition of the Society of Professional Journalists’ (SPJ) ethics book highlights relevant and on-going forms of journalism ethics’ breach. Along with classic ones as reporting on sex-abuse, and privacy issues the book contains appearing relevant issues as checkbook journalism, which simply means paying the sources. Several news-makers, ABC, NBC, CNN and CBS were denounced by the SPJ for checkbook journalism.
Speaking of confidentiality of sources, former President of the SPJ Fred Brown, said: “...there's this almost sacred right to protect your sources, whereas, you know, that could really get you into trouble” and suggested journalists that “when you think about it, if you tell them what you're after, you're more likely to get their cooperation than if you go into this super-defensive mode”. In other words, its better to lay your cards open rather than deal with possible consequences.
These and many other issues are raised in the book containing 47 case-studies, decisions and questions. Again, as a journalist one can find some familiar issues to him/herself and ways to address them, as well as get acquainted with new ones. In the universe of cases the decision remains that of each journalist...