Return to Utopia: The resurgence of media ethics

The concept of ethics should not (but sometimes seems to) disappear after being involved in the journalism industry for a number of years. This is one of the most depressing things about the industry I’ve dedicated my life to.

Maybe this is just a naive, recent college grad wishing for the pureness and innocence of her college newsroom, but I don’t care. Everyone bashes the media for its bias, its bad coverage, its favoritism and the list goes on. It seems like a never-ending cycle. But I want to break that cycle, smash it to pieces and run over with a semi-truck for good measure.

Journalists fresh out of college, usually with experience gained from their college paper, are (in my biased opinion) the most pure, most energetic, most ethical of the bunch. They saw how things should be. They know right from wrong, ethically and morally speaking. They are always conscious of it. When something doesn’t seem quite right, they speak up.

Now, this is not to say that veteran reporters have no ethics. I know 99.9 percent of them do. But, as is always the case, it’s that .1 percent that tarnishes the hard work everyone else has accomplished.

I fear that young journalists see the unethical decisions being made, watch as superiors disregard the most basic journalist principles and they run away. They escape to safer place — perhaps public relations or even a non-media related field entirely. This has to stop.

To break the cycle, people have face the problems they see, confront them and correct them — not run away because it’s too much to handle. I want to return to a Utopian newsroom, universally speaking. I’m not running. I hope you’re not either.


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