The Moore You Know: The Death of Journalism

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Times, they are a changin’! We know that, and things certainly do not stay the same. But, there are some things that should never change, and that is morals and ethics. The decline of these in the society in which we live, and the press we depend on, have led to great distrust and has forced the closure of many news outlets. Why?

“News,” has become so perverted and I use that term loosely. Just today, I learned that a family member was approached by another local “news” agency about an incident that happened in our area. It was very upsetting to this person who got the call, and saw no reason for their name to be released as a victim. I was livid to say the least. Doing harm is not only a violation of trust, it violates the very core values of true journalism.

Before I write the “hard to report,” news I always ask myself a series of questions. Ethical questions, that should be at the heart of every writer who is a true journalist.

  1. Find the truth and report it. Is it responsible, is it accurate?
  2. Minimize harm. Is there a balance of what the public needs to know and what could potentially cause harm. Is it respectful and compassionate? And, are there long-term implications?
  3. Act independently. Is it prejudicial?
  4. Be accountable and transparent. Is it accurate? Does it meet the high standards that your readers expect?

Someone said to me, “in this electronic age I didn’t think people actually wanted to come cover events.” I looked at him and said, I am so sorry. All you know is that person’s email, or if you’re lucky, their name. The fact is, you dont know the whole story with an email! I want to be at these events, I want to know these people and tell their story. That’s journalism to me!

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Tammy Teague

Tammy Teague

Mansfield native, with roots in Scott County. Daughter, sister, wife and Christian. Education: 1995 MHS graduate; 1999 Arkansas Tech University Graduate - BA in Journalism. Career: Managing Editor - The Citizen; Copy Writer - Southwest Times Record; 20+ years experience in the news.

One Reply to “The Moore You Know: The Death of Journalism”

  1. Kay says:

    Thank goodness there is someone who is still interested in TRUTH over attention. When a reporter with a local TV station tells someone that if they refuse to make a statement they’ll just “make up” sonething, why would I ever trust anything they report. We appreciate hearing about the good as well as the bad. And reporting without telling viewers and reader what they should think about it! You are doing a GOOD job. Keep it up.

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