By Trissean McDonald
- Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable. Give voice to the voiceless.
Immigration laws have caused families to become separated, incarcerated, and deported from the United States. President Donald Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy is the blame for the atrocity. Trump’s administration has been demonstrated against, even has been criticized for allowing more than 2,000 children to become separated from about 2,000 parents, according to an AP (Associated Press) article titled “Zero tolerance sowed confusion from start.” The article adheres to the code of ethics that requires the reporter to be vigilant and courageous about holding those in power accountable. Reporting on the Trump administration is as if walking into a fiery furnace. If the administration is told of their wrongdoing, they’ll not only deny the accusation, but the administration would even give the impression that the source that covered the story is producing “false news.”
- Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and avoid political and other outside activities that may compromise integrity or impartiality.
Jay Solomon, a former employee of the Wall Street Journal, was fired after an investigation was executed on the journalist. The investigation found that Solomon had secretly conspired, received bribes, as well as a possible hefty check of $725 million from the United Arab Emirates. There was a deal with an offer of a 10% stake in a now-defunct company. The AP witnessed from the investigation communication between Solomon and Farhad Azima, an Iranian businessman. Solomon received a “good luck” from Azima for closing a $725 million deal with the United Arab Emirates, according to a Wall Street Journal article titled “Wall Street Journal’s reporter fired over ethical violations.” This violated the code of ethics that prohibits a journalist from receiving gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment that may compromise integrity or impartiality.
- Provide context. Take special care not to misrepresent or oversimplify in promoting, previewing or summarizing a story.
- Never deliberately distort facts or context, including visual information. Clearly label illustrations and re-enactments.
Hollywood’s best-known family, the Kardashians, has recently fired their make-up artist, Joyce Bonelli, according to a Star Magazine article titled ”Kardashian fire and unfollow longtime makeup artist Joyce Bonelli.” The article violates the code of ethics by providing misleading content that oversimplifies the reason behind the termination. Instead of speaking with both parties to get both sides of the story, the reporter relied on social media for information that could be convoluted. The reporter states that the makeup artist retaliated by wearing a bathrobe on Instagram which read, “F**k with me. I dare you.” However, Bonelli still followed the family. On Wednesday, June 27, Bonelli even wishes Khloe Kardashian a “Happy Birthday” via Instagram. Although the Kardashian fired the makeup artist, it does not mean that there is personal strife. The reporter is trying to create controversy by using visual aids from social media that aren’t substantiated in order to support the content of the story.
- Identify sources clearly. The public is entitled to as much information as possible to judge the reliability and motivations of sources.
- Show compassion for those who may be affected by news coverage. Use heighten sensitivity when dealing with juveniles, victims of sex crimes, and sources or subjects who are inexperienced or unable to give consent. Consider cultural differences in approach and treatment.
Chicago’s City Council on Wednesday, June 27, 2018, approved a $2.5 million settlement for a 3-year-old girl who was assaulted by police with a gun to her chest, as officers physically abused her mother while being handcuffed, according to a WGN9 article titled “Chicago City Council approves $2.5M payout for 3-year-old girl traumatized by police.” The reporter shared that Chicago Police Department reformation fails to address how officers are supposed to treat children during arrests. The source of the information came from Aretha Simmons’ lawyer. The reporter also stated that in 2017 a Justice Department’s report questioned and criticized Chicago police for gratuitously using excessive force, including against children. The reporter adhered to identifying the sources of the information, as well as, is sensitive to not showing any images of the child or sharing the child’s name. The reporter respects the fact that the girl is a juvenile and shows compassion while delivering the story.