Ethical Conduct in News Organizations
One of the principle sources of news comes through newsrooms. While they are not the only source they are a big source. Every major news organization has what is typically called a newsroom. This is where news events and issues of the day are collected and analyzed. Newsrooms are a big source of the news but not as much as in the past. The new technology has created an abundance of resources for individuals to get the news of the day. News sources are now available 24 hours a day in many places. Newsrooms like other sources have a responsibility to operate with integrity principles. The news environment is more of a global event than it was in the past. Events in one country can impact another.
Today we have a world economy more so than in the past. It is important to not only report the events which shape the news but to report them accurately with complete information so the listener can determine for themselves how they feel about the issue or issues being reported. This article is not meant to criticize any news organization and the way that they report the news events they provide. The purpose of this article is to identify and express the principles involved from any source which provides details of news events.
Covering the news whether it is local, national or international is a big responsibility for those entrusted to present news events of the day. This responsibility should not be taken lightly and many who report the news give the impression that they take their responsibility seriously. Newsrooms are still a big source of information about current events and issues but today there is increasing competition with the surge of the Internet and its resources.
Competition in covering the news through newsrooms must embrace the principle of integrity in not only honestly reporting the news but to refrain from presenting a specific point of view. While this cannot always be eliminated it must be acknowledged upfront to those who are listening to their broadcast. Newsrooms is an area where news comes in and choices need to be made as to what will be reported and how much. The mid-term elections have signaled a change in the political environment. Access to the news is increasing daily and with these opportunities newsrooms must take notice of their competition and what they are doing in presenting news events.
As mentioned in the preceding paragraph access to news of the day has seen a dramatic increase in the completion from all sources. The remaining portion of this article will identify the characteristics which should be a part of news reporting not only from newsrooms but all sources. The characteristics listed below are not all encompassing but have an impact on decisions made by those who listen to reports being presented.
The first point I wish to make is newsrooms like others have a responsibility to serve the public interest not theirs. It is in their best interest in reporting news events that they consider the need for the public to be kept informed. This however has some considerations to be considered. While there are news events that the public has a right to hear but when those events have an impact on the security of our country they should not be broadcast across the airwaves. When events take place that impact the security of a country those events if they are reported in my opinion are not serving the public interest. When reporting such events the security of individuals and sometimes countries can be harmed by reporting such events.
Another principle or characteristic which should be a part of all news reporting is being an independent resource. Independence is a big characteristic in many areas of society. One example involves auditors. Auditors must be independent of the areas they are assigned to audit. Without independence the results can be impacted simply for the fact they will be affected in the results. Independence in news organizations requires the same consideration. Regardless of the views of a news organization or news journalists they must present an independent analysis and/or presentation of the facts.
In addition to the principles/characteristics discussed above the principle of honesty is clearly critical when associated with the conduct of news organizations. Honesty is an important trait to possess not only for a news organization but also as individuals. We want to deal and be associated with honest individuals. Honesty in the news in the way it is presented and the viewpoint presented must of should be clearly identified when any news event is being broadcast. This is so those listening understand the details and the approach taken. Accuracy in addition to honesty is important in completing our assigned tasks where we work and news reporting should be no different. The point to make is that news reporting has a greater impact simply for the fact who they are and what they do.
Reporting the news also requires responsibility in either identifying the source or at least verifying the content of the news being furnished by unnamed sources. Many times individuals are close to an issue and wish to remain anonymous and this is understandable. These kinds of resources are important for news organizations. In these instances before the facts being given are reported they must be verified. Presenting news which is not supported with the evidence can do more harm than good.
The last point to make is the characteristic of compassion. Compassion is needed in reporting news events. Many times individuals involved in news events do not receive the compassion they deserve. We are a nation that is recognized for our compassion as we reach out to areas of the world that experience tragic events such as earthquakes, floods or hurricanes. The principle of compassion in the news while it exist in some news organizations it needs to be more prevalent in all news reporting. Compassion is a characteristic we typically have as individuals and as individuals if we are involved in reporting news events we need to exercise this characteristic where it is obviously needed. News organizations must put themselves in the place of those involved in news events and ask themselves how they would feel if reporters were constantly in their face to ask questions.
The principles or characteristics discussed above in reporting the news are important in presenting news events in the proper perspective. Whether news organizations adhere to these principles is not for me to judge but for their listeners. I as an individual evaluate the news sources to which I listen and so should everyone. News events shape the world and the way we see it. It can change our outlook and perspective dependent upon how news events are portrayed. While events reported in the news impact our lives how much they impact our lives is a big part of how they are reported.