Ethics are Essential to Journalism

Christian Aldrete, Reporter

Ethics is a philosophy that defends concepts of right and wrong. Every Journalist should act on this philosophy.

Stephen Glass was a journalist at the New Republic who fabricated more than half of his stories. Glass was caught in May 1998, when a reporter (with Forbes Magazine) could not find a single search engine for “Jukt Micronics”, a company he invented for a fabricated story. Glass was fired from the New Republic and had his reputation destroyed for not being trustworthy. He now has written a novel and now has plans on becoming a lawyer.

“My life was one very long process of lying and lying again, to figure out how to cover those other lies,” said Glass.

Janet Cooke was a journalist at the Washington Post, who received the “Pulitzer Prize” for a fabricated story ¬†about an eight year old heroin addict. Two days after she had been awarded, Post publisher Donald E. Graham held a press conference and admitted the story was not true. Cooke gave back the award and resigned. She now hopes to be forgiven and to be able to tell her story.

“The most miserable part of my exile has been the lack of a forum, the lack of a voice,” said Cooke.

Brian Williams is a journalist and anchor to N.B.C. news, who exaggerated about his time reporting in Iraq. Williams claimed his helicopter was shot down but actual footage showed otherwise. Williams has been suspended for six months and many want him fired. He now has stepped down from the Medal of Honor foundation.

“Since light travels faster than sound, Some people appear to be bright until you hear them speak.” said Williams.