Alright, so that apparent Martin Brodeur quote had nothing to do with journalistic ethics. It did, however catch your attention, eh?
As I sat in sports communications one afternoon, the professor was warning against ever going off-the-record. As an example to the rest of the class, I was asked by the professor if I would use anonymous sources or quotes that were acquired off-the-record.
I thought about it for a few seconds, but I said no. I wouldn’t want to risk my credibility. I wouldn’t want to risk a lot of things. The professor was shocked, and then warned the class that “not everyone is as ethical as Kiley.”
That got me thinking as to whether I was doing it right. Do I over-think things? Am I still a little bit of that goody-two-shoes from middle and high school? Do I need to get gritty and hard-hitting and cut throat?
Kershner helped me to realize that I’m not doing it wrong. ”I can think of no common journalistic shortcoming more threatening to media credibility than over-reliance on unnamed sources.” The quote from David Shaw gave me hope that I am, for once, doing something right.
That wasn’t the only ethical advice Kershener gave me, though. He reassured me that if I’m not comfortable with printing something, it might not be ethical to print in the first place. He let me know that I’m not crazy when I think people interpret what is in “good taste” very differently. (My mom and I argue quite a bit about that.)
I also really liked the point about deciding whether or not something is ethical, justify it to someone you respect. I find myself doing that a lot before I say something or do something. ”How would ____ feel about that?” ”What would ____ think of that?” It’s always a close friend, my parents, my little sister, my grandma, or a very close friend. If I could justify it to them, that’s good enough to me.
I feel like with all the terrible things happening, realizing that there are still ethics somewhere is a huge help.