How should a press reporter cover an event, especially a politically or socially sensitive event, such as a protest or a killing?
Should he go to where it takes place, or wait till someone or some authority sends a press release?
According to various spin doctors, who will do any dirty and unethical act for their own survival (also clear by observing the way they operated when reporters in the past), it is most “ethical” to wait in the office until the parties involved send press releases regarding the particular incident.
In this context, the public must be inquisitive to know what the basic ethics are, that a press reporter has to follow when covering sensitive events. As mentioned by the Society of Professional Journalists, media professionals should concentrate on Truth and Accuracy, Independence, Fairness and Impartiality, Humanity and Accountability when covering news stories.
Then the question arises, whether these so called authoritative spin doctors even think of following basic ethical principles, while bending down slavishly to please the whims and fancies of their superiors.
In other words are they adhering to the highest standards of ethical practices, while doing cover- up jobs for the authorities who had hired them?
To hell with ethics and high standards!
Who would like to be back in the streets, penniless and unrecognised? To hunt with the hounds is the most ethical and the safest way for survival!
The powerful and authoritative Fourth Estate has fallen to the lowest depths to which it can drop, due to these self-interested spin doctors.
We appeal to Francis de Sales, the patron saint of writers and journalists: Have pity on them, for they too have to live happily ever after!
By Vijaya Ariyarathne