Sunday, May 08, 2005

Top 11 Ethical/Unethical Actions For Journalists

The world can be an ethically challenging place to mainstream journalists and bloggers alike. We at NIGP are here to help our readers react appropriately to the ethical challenges that they may face. Here are some examples of ethical and unethical behaviors that many bloggers as well as members of the main stream media face. When in doubt, I always remember that Nick Coleman is the ultimate ethics expert and that anything he or those around him might do is perfectly acceptable, while anything he sneers at must not be. It looks like some folks at the Pioneer Press may be able to learn something from us.

11. It is not ethical to write side projects for another newspaper.
It is ethical to host a radio show on the side.

10. It is not ethical for a non-custodial father to author a column about the rights of non-custodial fathers.
It is ethical for a mother to author three columns a year about her children getting sick.

9. It is not ethical to come from outside of Minnesota and criticize the way we do things here.
It is ethical to criticize a mayor that your brother will be running against in the next election.

8. It is not ethical for the editor of the letters page to choose the letters that refer to his own opinion piece.
It is ethical to re-run an old column you wrote for a different newspaper years ago, without proper attribution. (Hat tip to Kate Parry for help on this one.)

7. It is not ethical to publish an opinion that is consistent with Republican party rhetoric.
It is ethical to accuse arrogant bloggers of taking money from Republican operatives, even if you have no evidence and they have overtly stated that they have never taken money from anyone.
6. It is not ethical to have beers with an interview subject.
It is ethical to let an interview subject bring you a pie, as long as you offer to share with your co-workers.

5. It is not ethical to fail to disclose that you had beers with an interview subject.
It is ethical to sleep with a co-worker.

4. It is not ethical to have dinner at an interviewees house.
It is ethical to leave your wife and three children for a younger woman.

3. It is not ethical to invite an interviewee to dinner at your house.
It is ethical to leave your wife and six children for a younger woman.

2. It is not ethical to criticize union workers.
It is ethical to have your step-mother arrange for you to get a job.

1. It is not ethical to write a hobby column for a fee that is well below writers guild guidelines.
It is ethical to have your step-mother arrange for you to get a job a second time.

4 Comments:

Blogger R-Five said...

One of your best posts!

12:38 AM  
Blogger Chad The Elder said...

#12 It's not ethical to consider right wing bloggers as legitimate journalists.

It is however, perfectly ethical to confer journalistic status to left wing bloggers.

#13 It is not ethical for citizens to support political organizations that seek to lower their taxes.

It is ethical for unions to lobby politicians, fund campaigns, and stage rallies so that their members can get paid more.

1:23 PM  
Blogger Chad The Elder said...

This should really become an on-going open thread.

#14 It is unethical for people you don't like to make cracks about their political opponents weight or mental acuity. In fact, it is hate speech.

It is ethical when you are discussing your political opponents to:

-question their sexual orientation
-mock the size of their genitalia
-accuse them of committing sodomy
-ridicule their religious beliefs
-call them Nazis and fascists
-compare them to the East German Stasi
-compare them to the racist "Know-Nothings" of 19th century America
-make fun of their physical appearance

10:20 AM  
Blogger sequel said...

Re: 1 and 2

You mean it wasn't his writing talent that got him his jobs? Wow, that's twice now you've told me that, who'd a thunk.

#15
It is unethical and hate speech to call Ted Kennedy a human dirigible.

It is ethical and proper to say Ann Coulter is a bloviator at a miniskirted screech fest.

4:53 PM  

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