Ethics Matter

Ethics determine the characteristics of a journalist. One piece of evidence where bad ethics is applied is when Brian Williams, former journalist for NBC News, admitted that he told a fake story in which he was in a helicopter that got shot down in Iraq in 2003. He admitted that the helicopter story was a lie. This would be considered to be defamation. WilliamBrian Williamss is suspended for six months due to his exaggeration of the story. Williams said, “because I have no desire to fictionalize my experience… and no need to dramatize events as they actually happened, I think the constant viewing of the video showing us inspecting the impact area — and the fog of memory over the years — made me conflate the two.”

Another piece of evidence is when Stephen Glass fabricated more than half of his articles at The New Republic. Charles Lane, editor of The New Republic at the time, was suspicious of his work and went to places that were on Stephen’s stories  to make sure that the stories he wrote were true. Glass got suspended for two years and then later on fired for tellglassing more lies. He currently lives in South California. Glass said, “I would tell a story and there would be fact A, which maybe was true. And then there would be fact B, which was sort of partially true and partially fabricated. And then there would be fact C, which was more fabricated and almost not true. And then there would be fact D, which was a complete whopper. And totally not true.”

The last piece of evidence is when Janet Cooke, author of Jimmy’s World, made up the little boy in Jimmy’s World. She got caught because she put a college that she didn’t attend in her resume. She was humiliated by this libel and returned the prestigious Pulitzer Prize. Cooke said, “Jimmy is 8 years old and a third generation heroin addict, a precocious little boyja with sandy hair, velvety brown eyes and needle marks freckling the baby smooth skin of his thin brown eyes.”