In journalism, ethics are of the utmost importance.
Oftentimes, when a story is particularly important, such as corruption in the government or reported abuse, the public has a right to know what has occurred, and the ethics of journalism must be followed. An article published on the online site Poynter outlines the importance of ethics in reporting in terms of reporters' bias. The article written by Viv Bernstein, states that "Reporters who show bias fail their sources - and their profession," explains that bias in journalists can be detrimental to the accurate reporting of a story, and can warp the public's view of information and people in question. According to the article, "Journalists who demonstrate their bias shouldn't be allowed to continue on their beats, no matter how good their stories are or how many clicks they get." While it may be tempting for journalists to insert their own opinions when not asked of them or required, it is important that they maintain the ethical standards of journalism in order to uphold the profession, and by demonstrating bias, they "... run the risk of ruining their reputations and hurting our profession at a time when we need to be above reproach- every one of us."
Another important aspect of ethics in journalism is the citation and usage of sources.
An article that also appeared on Poynter details a clear violation of ethics, particularly of the usage of original content and refraining from aggregating information without due reference from another source. The article, titled "This journalist got a big scoop, only to watch Fox news steal his reporting - and his traffic," tells of how a smaller paper's story was essentially re-worded and published by a Fox news reporter. The article, written by Kelly McBride, highlights four principles of ethical aggregation of information: transparent attribution, adding value, percentages mattering, and the creation of a mutually beneficial arrangement (McBride).
The importance of ethics in journalism can also be found in the dilemma of printing sensitive photos.
When crises occur, the public needs to be informed, and in many cases, photos are part of the way to do so. The problem of ethics arises from whether or not it is insensitive to publish said photo, in the cases of it contained dead bodies, or starving children. An article published by Poynter, titled "Good editors must be thoughtful when showing readers hard truths, like photos of dead bodies," written by Kelly McBride, points out the distinction between inappropriate photos of victims and information. McBride sums it up by instructing journalists- "Don't exploit horrific photos without a journalistic purpose. But don't hide or place too many barriers in front of them, lest you duck your most important job."
Finally, one of the most important parts of employing ethics in journalism is in relation to a phenomenon known as the 'Liar's Dividend.'
This is explained in another article from Poynter called "The 'Liar's Dividend' is dangerous for journalists. Here's how to fight it." The term relates to the recent upward tick in fake videos circling the internet, and is essentially "...Debunking fake or manipulated material like videos, audios or documents, ultimately could stoke belief in the fakery."
Part of the ethics of journalism is ensuring that the information you report on is accurate. With all of the fake information and content so prevalent on the internet, it is important that journalists are wary of it, and employ appropriate ethics in using accurate information.