Journalism’s first loyalty is to citizens No matter the cost?
“The notion that those who report the news are not obstructed from digging up and telling the truth—even at the expense of the owners’ financial interests—is a prerequisite of telling the news not only accurately but also persuasively.” (p. 53)
80% of journalists listed “making the reader/listener/viewer your first obligation” as a “core principle of journalism”
“Journalists who make a case for the public-interest obligation inside their companies could be labeled as naïve, old-fashioned, and difficult.” (p. 61)
Owner/Corporation must be committed to citizens first Owner of company must believe deeply in core journalistic values What kind of power does the CEO of a media company have? What decisions do they make?
Hire business managers who also put citizens first “The New York Times’ . . . advertising department . . . regularly turns away ads on days when events require a larger space for the news, such as on days of a presidential press conference or major speech.”
Set and communicate clear standards Advertising vs. news Make sure all employees understand company values, mission, potential conflicts and how they are handled Baltimore Sun – “We discussed the fact that, on journalistic decisions, the newsroom has to have the integrity to make the final call” Don’t let policies and standards become just posters on the wall
Journalists have final say over news Communicate clear standards to the public Tucson’s KGUN-TV “Viewers Bill of Rights” Broadcasted, posted on website Outlines what citizens should expect from station Right to ethical journalism Right to responsible newscasts and promotions Right to be heard Right to hold us accountable