Get up, Get out and Do Something

Last nights Foster Foreman Conference put things in perspective for me, journalistically wise.  I’ve come to the realization of 2 things,

1.) technology is changing, so keep up but get up as well.

2.) “your ethics are your ethics.” -DB


Dean Baquet referred to today’s technology as a positive and negative for journalist.  Unlike past years, your voice-opinion-message-story can spread to a mass audience in a timely manner – thus increasing chances of information being fabricated-exaggerated-incorrect due to lack of reporting and fact checking.  Baquet’s message was clear; get off the internet and actually report (use multiple sources) and seek truth for the absolute best outcome in reporting.

Also, a young female student asked Mr. Baquet something along the lines of – How should he react ethically if he decides not to publish a story but his competing publisher does.  Baquet replied with “your ethics are your ethics” and I completely agreed with his assertion.  Your values are the same no matter whose involved or where it takes place.  A journalist who reports for self incentives (money, power) has different ethics from one who reports for ethical incentives (informing public of truth).

Baquet’s credibility is impressive but his words were humbling. Thank you Dean Baquet for the perspective.



4 thoughts on “Get up, Get out and Do Something

  1. Hey Jordan,

    I didn’t make the conference that night, but your emphasis on Dean’s taking on journalistic ethics reflected the core of nowadays newsroom competition.

    If competitors published a story whereas the NYT does not publish, there could be multiple reasons for such a case:

    First,the NYT was not the original investigator of a story, namely that the organization does not want to plagiarize other organization’s findings. This occasion rarely arises thanks to the increasingly universal access to news scenarios, but It still exists often in profile and feature writing.

    Second, if competitors had exclusive contacts contributing a story whereas the NYT failed, or to a lesser degree fared insufficiently, in the attempt to get in touch with these subjects, the NYT would have convincing reason not to publish the story in preservation of its credibility ad integrity of factual reporting.

    Third, if competitors have published a story in wish of temporarily boosting its viewership, such as the case of Ariel Castro, whereas some papers have extensively reported the rescue mission of three female hostages in the house of this sadistic kidnapper, the NYT focused on the aftermath of this operation, thus shunning intrusive reporting as distinct to other daily newspapers running on clothesline themes.

    Do you have any additional theories that the NYT obliges to kill a story?

  2. Hi Chris!
    I’m strongly impressed by Dean Baquet’s statement about ethics, too.
    I’ve had a lot of consideration about how journalists choose between sales and ethics. Sometimes it’s a really edgy thing to think. But when Dean Baquet said those words, I literally clapped. “It’s the easiest one.” Yes, indeed, the only thing a journalist should hold on is the ethics. It’s not easy, to some extend, but it’s still the guide we should live on.
    I would also like to hear more about your opinions and feelings on your first point in this post. I didn’t have that much thoughts on that.

  3. Hi Chris! I really love the fact that you pointed out that some journalists are in the business for incentives such as money and power. Shouldn’t all journalists being going into the business to inform the public of breaking news? I think that it is so shady that some journalists are actually willing to publish stories that will ruin lives. I feel like that is an occurring trend that we see in political and celebrity stories especially. I completely agree Dean Baquet had a great point when he said “your ethics are your ethics.” After I graduate college, I’m definitely sticking to what I believe in. If someone is forcing to me to publish a story that is against my beliefs, I have no problem walking out. I would rather be jobless than take a risk of tarnishing my entire future career as a journalist.

    • hiii Sarah!

      ” If someone is forcing to me to publish a story that is against my beliefs, I have no problem walking out. I would rather be jobless than take a risk of tarnishing my entire future career as a journalist.”

      I legit smiled reading that statement because (although I barely know You) I could definitely see you saying that in class. And i certainly get the vibe that youre a person who sticks to their beliefs/feelings/ideas/passion.

      Yup! it’s indeed pathetic how a journalist can stoop to low levels of ruining lives for a penny or laugh — i make it an effort to learn from their wrongdoing though.

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