Relationship between journalists and sources

Ethics and Protection of Sources - Ethical Journalism Network

relationship between journalists and sources

A too-cozy relationship between a journalist and source hurts coverage. Flickr photo: by It probably wasn't the point he wanted to. Watchdog Conference: Reporters Wrestle With How to Use Sources William Rashbaum: “The relationship between reporter and source is a. The relationship between journalists and their sources. September 29, 29 IST. Updated: April 21, IST. Share Article; PRINT; A A A.

I was in danger of knowing her and feeling sorry for her, and of having that knowledge influence -- even unconsciously -- my coverage of her ministry. I quit going to the annual press gallery dinners and skit nights.

Ethics at Source

An off-the-record night shared by journalists and politicians strikes me as inappropriate, even if it is benign. And I don't want to socialize with the people I write about, or know about their personal lives.

I don't want to like them or dislike them. Kelly's world of journalism is wrong and delusional. Who cares if the hockey players pretend to be your friends? Some are nice guys, some are jerks.

That doesn't affect the reality of their on-ice performance. And isn't that what a sports reporter is supposed to be writing about? Not whether the muscled multi-millionaires are friendly and call him by his first name.

Journalists: Never Befriend a Source

The Canadian Association of Journalists ethics committee wrestled with the issue last year and produced a reportHow Close is Too Close? But it never really answered the question. And there were lots of journalists who defended the practise of becoming friends with the people you write about. Embedded journalism But Smith also acknowledged he had become ''very attached'' to a Canadian platoon while embedded during the war and he felt ''super cool'' when he was accepted into the group.

And because of that, Smith acknowledges, he didn't report events that might have made the platoon look bad. Some journalists argue that getting close to the people you cover pays off. You get insight into their way of thinking, and occasional leaks, the inside stuff. But business people and politicians are focused and good at what they do. If they leak information, it is strategic, designed to advance their interests or harm an opponent.

One cluster of possibilities revolves around an important aspect of journalism: Of course, when we talk about news sources, we refer to a variety of things. News sources can be rumors swirling on social media or official news agencies. However, at this this time, we will look at the conventional, "old-school" definition of the concept and that is people. Journalists are heavily dependent on their sources; whether those sources are high-ranking politicians passing information or a well-connected person familiar with the glamorous lives of the rich and famous.

It can be a witness who saw a newsworthy event or it could be a worker or whistleblower aware of some sort of corrupt practices. Sources can be a one-off or a gift basket that keeps on giving.

Journalists: Never Befriend a Source | The Tyee

In many cases, a reporter is as competent as their web of sources when it comes to getting a scoop. After all, press releases are available to everyone, but the ability to reach a source with a single phone call is how newspapers stay one step ahead. It is a relationship based on trust.

Journalists who trust their sources adhere to wishes regarding anonymity, reporting on statements without twisting them in any manner. Journalists trust their sources based on the validity of information, as their names and integrity are on the line if the said information is slander or simply false.

Sources are the lifeblood of a reporter as they amass them over their careers. Of course, apart from access to sources, a good journalist should also be able to sort bad information from good when it comes to reaping the reward of the said sources. After all, a source could give manipulative information to further the personal agenda of that source's company.

Or, a politician could take a pot shot at an opponent with the media or a singer could pressure a rival with negative press.

relationship between journalists and sources

One such event was the reason we decided to cover the subject this week. Fitting example In the past week, a tabloid featured a news article about a socialite, reporting on her alleged heavy alcohol use and unruly behavior based on two unclear photographs taken with a cellphone.

relationship between journalists and sources

The news article had a sensational but false headline, along with a string of unconfirmed claims. Even the said inebriation was nothing more than a claim. But wait - there is more! On the same day that the news article was published, that socialite stated that she was not even in the place as the report had indicated.

She then said that these were likely potshots by jealous people that sent the photos to the reporter, claiming it was she. I do miss these defining aspects of journalism.

relationship between journalists and sources

But, ombudsmanship has its own resilience. It keeps you on a narrow and straight path to constantly reflect about the profession. It is a privilege to be a custodian of values and one has to give up some of the other benefits of the profession to do this job well. Ethics in reporting The intrinsic values in journalism are universal and they have survived the disruptions brought about by technology.

relationship between journalists and sources

My constant interactions with young journalists and journalism students vindicate that these values are not only central to the new generation but they try to apply them in multiple platforms on which they share their stories.

Richard Wald, Fred W. Friendly Professor of Professional Practice in Media and Society, at Columbia Journalism School, invited me to sit through his class on ethics recently. The act gave children from underprivileged backgrounds the choice to seek transfers from failing schools to better ones. A detailed case study of the report, produced by the Knight Case Studies Initiative, was shared with the students.

But, the story did not play out as the journalist imagined.