We will be discussing ethics in feature writing in class today. Here are some links we’ll be using.
Here is he Janet Cooke story that won her a Pulitzer Prize until it was revealed the story was a fabrication. She acknowledged she never interviewed any of the people in the story and that she made it up based on composite information she had gleaned from other sources. Cooke sort of explained on the Phil Donahue show why she lied.
We will be discussing this story in the context of the ethical decisions that reporters make at every turn that lead to true and accurate reporting or breaches. It is important to remember that no one sets out to be unethical. These lapses start as a series of misplaced choices, much as one small lie may lead to larger untruths.
Be thinking about what small ethical lapses you may make that could lead to bigger gaps.
Ethics is also about journalists’ decision to be impartial or stay out of the lives of subjects. When should a journalist step in?