Thursday, November 20, 2008

The three most imortant rules for a journalist to follow

In my opinion, the three most important rules for journalists to follow are accuracy, fairness, and using taste and sensitivity in determining what to put into a story. If a journalist is not reporting accurately, then basically their whole story is a lie. As our book, "All in the news", tells us "...if a piece of journalism is not accurate, it has no value." In order to prevent a false story, a journalist must always check and double check all their facts including sources names, titles, phone numbers/web links, all quotes attributed correctly, etc. In addition, it is also important that a journalist strives for fairness; basically representing both sides. It is important to present all facts from both sides so that you, as a journalist, are not giving your audience a biased story and instead are providing your audience with enough information to make their own decision about the story. When reporting, it is also important to use your own taste and sensitivity. This is especially important when dealing with stories about showing people that have died. You want to get your story out, but it is more important that you show respect to the family of the deceased. There are ways to get your message and story out without being too graphic or gory. A journalist must consider whether showing a picture or video clip of a person dying will really serve a greater good.

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