Friday, 3 June 2011

Ethical Journalism - An Unnamed Journalist

As the title suggests, I won’t be naming the subject of this article. Straight away this causes an obvious barrier between you and the journalist in question, so I will tell you two things in an attempt to familiarize you and her. The first has slipped; it’s a female, the second is her initial - P.

P is the subject of this post as a demonstration that there are some journalists out there, despite what (ironically) the media would have you believe, with a genuine and staunch moral code. She aims to report the truth with as little “dressing up” as possible, all the while defending other journalists’ right to report in accordance to their own code, no matter how different to hers it may be.

She works tirelessly to make sure her evidence is concrete, sourcing only first-hand witnesses, her own experience, and sites she knows to be reliable. Relentlessly double and triple checks her sources, going to unbelievable lengths to put herself on the front line so she can experience the story. P loves writing, loves learning, and loves imparting what she’s learned.

It’s worth noting that journalists, for the most part, feed from the same watering holes. Reuters, IDG, The Associated Press and one or two more are considered the only 100% reliable online sources. While they may not be correct all the time, they have no opinionated reporting, just cold stats and facts. These services are called “wires” and are quoted/rehashed the world over, including by the BBC, Wall Street Journal, NY Times, Forbes, CNet and The Guardian. Beyond first-hand experience or an unbiased witness, these wires are the single most reliable source of news the world has.

As if to separate these esteemed site further, they are the only sites P cites without adding "allegedly" or "reportedly" or some other "this-is-only-true-as-far-as-we-know" addendum.

This post is less of a discussion starter or even point of interest, more just a much-needed tip-of-the-hat to P and those like her. Their self-imposed ethics and morals are what journalism relies on, without them we're left to the publishers code of conduct - a code that is seemingly non-existent.


  1. You're the blahging spirit of Jean Paul-Sartre! :)

    Keep writing!

  2. In the age when anyone can edit a wikipedia entry, and anyone can start a blog misleading the public with their biased opinion of almost anything, it's hard to make sure all your sources are reliable. As for the code of ethics, the same applies for any occupation that does not have strict quality control or is consumer needs driven. Interesting information nonetheless, followed and will look forward to your upcoming posts.

  3. I know this is kind of a rough statement, but I don't think there is such thing as an unbiased journalism. Education, viewpoint, everything gives us a bias.

    Heck, a lack of bias is a bias in itself!

  4. @Zander - Thanks... I think :P

    @Krymore - I agree, but I think reporting affects other people (i.e the general public) more than most industries, but then I'm biased. LOL, irony.

    @ReDDoT - Although I understand your point entirely, and agree to a point, I would say your statement was too general. Try clicking the Reuters link for example, it's hard to find anything but stats, lists, quotes etc.

    @El Jeffe - Thanks! Just taking a peak at yours now and liking what I'm seeing. Your flattery will get you everywhere ;)

  5. This journalist sounds like the kind of reporters the world is sorely in need of in these times of extreme bias and misleading information. I tip my hat to this anonymous journalist for her dogged pursuit of truth and a tip of the hat to you for bringing her to my attention. If you would send me a message with the journalist's name I'd love to read some of her work.

  6. lol, but really, i find journalism fascinating. especially those books (the girl who played with fire, etc. etc.)

  7. Mainstream journalism is almost always biased.
    But I agree sources like AP are great, and I'm glad we have them.

  8. @Raymond - I'm glad you feel that way, but unfortunately I can't send any of her work your way.
    Next time we speak I'll tell her I wrote this though, and perhaps then I'll be in a better position to share her work!

    @El Jeffe - I obviously find it fascinating too, but unfortunately have never read the series of books you're referring to.
    My boss would go insane if he knew that, maybe I'll get on it now!

    @CheapHomes - Agreed.

  9. Love Jouralism hate Paparazzi. Stuff like we saw in egypt were a revolution was arguably sparked by the mass use of media was ingenious. Gd post - followd.

  10. Opinionated reporting is literally the scum of society.

  11. we never really see the jounalist behind the post..this is quite refreshing

    I have followed your blog, could you follow my blog too and +1 my blog? Thanks!

    Sky Stock Analysis

  12. @ Stock I&T - Consider it done, thanks for the feedback :)

  13. What a shame there aren't more people like P in the world!

  14. I'm really a big fan of the AP, and Reuters. (I don't know if anybody else would ever call themselves that.) I just find real news to be far more interesting than anything else in the blogosphere. :)

  15. YOU dear person is interesting, and I shall follow you and add to my morning coffee, but I don't have the time to read your entire blog at the moment, so I'll have to come back later ; )

  16. Most writers are unethical in their methods anyways. Reporters hide behind sources who are willing to cause a tiff behind a veil rather than tell people straight up.

    Very similar to talking behind someones back.