Case Studies: Ethics in Journalism and Other Media

1504 Words6 Pages
Part One Media Issue Essay When the editor of a large metropolitan newspaper finds out one of the paper's journalists has been basically plagiarizing stories, making up facts that fit his thesis and fabricating sources, the editor must be quick to formulate a response and to notify the readers of the paper as to what happened and what the paper's response was to the incident. What should be done in this instance, and why? First of all, a journalist is in a trusted position vis-à-vis the community, the persons or institutions or events being covered, and the publication he or she is working for. Journalists have a deep social responsibility to the public, and they cannot use digital media to forge the truth out of whole cloth. What's to be done in this case? There are other cases of plagiarism in American newspapers that can be used as examples in terms of what steps should be taken by publishers and editors of these publications. The most infamous case of plagiarism in recent years happened in the newsroom of the highly esteemed New York Times, in 2003, when the Times' was embarrassed and greatly chagrined to learn that many of the stories their young reporter, Jason Blair, had been turning in, were flawed or phony. It turns out Blair "…committed frequent acts of journalistic fraud" while covering new events, the Times wrote in a front-page story on May 11, 2003. The lengthy piece which did not contain an apology to readers, but did present, in excruciating detail,
Open Document