With the job as a journalist comes much conflict in relation to ethics, as I’ve come to realize. I received a lot of heat for a controversial article I wrote a couple of weeks ago about unfair treatment , and allegations were made about my ethical conduct. Here is a response to those accusations, which appeared in our opinion section last week.
Questions of my journalism ethics, and further, my character, have arisen as a result of an article I wrote last week.
I take allegations of my character very seriously, and I would like to take a moment to respond to those allegations that I have been unethical in my reporting.
I may be fairly young in the trade of journalism, but that does not mean that I lack a solid ethical backing. Ethics was stressed during my education, and not only that, I was raised to be responsible, truthful, hard working and kind to others.
I live by those values daily.
There has been talk that I ‘created the news’ by taking a source’s words out of context in order to promote my ‘agenda’, and pit community organizations against each other. This is something that I would never intentionally do.
Sure, as a community journalist my job includes reporting on some of the great things happening in the community of Whitecourt, but more importantly, journalists are the watchdogs of society. Oftentimes, this is the hardest part of our job, demonstrated by the very backlash against my article last week, and the most important part.
If there are irresponsible or questionable actions being taken by governing bodies, or other prominent members of the community, it is our job to make sure the public is informed of this. Oftentimes, the truth is difficult to swallow and is met with great resistance.
Our intention is never to misrepresent, misquote, or to intentionally harm, and that is guaranteed. However, intentions can sometimes look different than they outcomes they produce.
If members of the community feel concerned about something published, there are processes in place for that, which can result in corrections being made or appropriate disciplinary action.
Using social media in order to damage our publications name, fear mongering people out of speaking with us, and publicly calling for our dismissal without knowing all of the facts is borderline defamation, and there are much better ways of dealing with concerns.
Unless there are facts in accusations, it’s plain libel. We will not accept such bullying and wild claims with no backing.