Do the Right Thing
Being a good journalist is more than simply gathering, writing and presenting the news. It means learning how to make sound ethical decisions about what is reported as well as what is not reported. Journalists are routinely challenged by stories and situations that require them to make ethical choices about issues that are often in shades of gray rather than black and white. Chapter 13 reviews steps that young journalists can take to produce work that is responsible, thoughtful and ethically justifiable, as well as questions they can consider when reporting and producing stories about sensitive or controversial topics. Young journalists also learn the distinction between a First Amendment right to publish something, and doing the right thing for the right reasons. A legal right to publish something differs from an ethical justification to publish or broadcast it.