When I mention the word ethical journalism, some people give me a look of confusion. As if to say, “that’s an oxymoron”.
But that is the unfortunate picture that people have been painted, even before Trump put his hand up to be a candidate. Even way before the internet took over.
We are considered vultures, where we’d do anything to get a story.
I myself am a student journalist, starting my third and final year in communications, in Sydney, Australia. I have been taught to be balanced. To make sure all sides of a story are told. Or else we fear a defamation lawsuit. We don’t have your freedom of speech, and as much as it sounds like a godsend, I think it can also be a fault towards ethical reporting.
What has changed now, is that journalists have a new competitor: The blogger. And the unfortunate consequence of this, is the style of writing that many news organisations in america have taken. They have gone from neutrality to informality. Some are plain obvious, and some inject it ever so subtly into their words.
What you did was right, and if I am correct, I am sure you’d do it again if given a chance.
We reporters who seek neutrality in balance need to shout louder. We need to set our standards. And especially for someone like Trump and his supporters who need to understand that journalism isn’t an agenda setting field, but the first rough draft of history. We are not here to set agendas or frame stories, we are here to tell stories as they are and let the public decide upon the facts.