Thursday, February 26, 2009

Loyalty and Ethics

The hardest part for me when it comes to ethics and journalism is that there not clear cut rules. We have a whole book that tells us how to correctly write a sentence and how to get the news out to our audience, but only our gut feelings and experiences when it comes to ethics.

As I was watching "Good Night and Good Luck," I was surprised that Murrow didn't show more sympathy toward Hollenbeck, but then again, why would he. Murrow felt he was doing America a favor by uncovering a communist and by doing so other people were going to get hurt. I don't blame him for what he did, he followed his gut feeling and decided to go with the news story. He didn't do anything wrong, but Hollenbeck suffered a great deal from his choice.

Loyalty in journalism can sometimes be an undefined line. It is hard to report the news correctly if you are fearing someone you know and respect could get hurt in the process. This tends to create a biased attitude. This is why I don't think I would make a very good reporter. I get too emotionally involved in stories and don't want to hurt those individuals who have come to trust me. I want to be loyal to my job and loyal to everyone involved and sometimes it just doesn't work that way.

This movie helped me see the tough decisions we as journalists might have to make at certain times in our career that will cause us to step back and decide if we will choose to be loyal to a friendship, or to the job. Hopefully, we can always stay loyal to both!

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