Lecture on Ethical Decisions

Story by: Brenda Mandujano

On Monday morning Jim Fisher, a professor of communication, spoke to students about the fine lines between morality and ethics. The lecture given to a news writing class had students thinking of the reality of the journalistic world.

“He was straightforward and had a very honest opinion of how journalism can be,” said Morgan Heath.

Examples that everyone can relate to were used to show “journalism ethics is almost always about ‘to publish or not to publish, to broadcast or not to broadcast,” as Fisher stated.

Fisher discussed the four guidelines of the Society of Professional Journalists: seek the truth and report it, minimize harm, act independently and be accountable. He went into depth to have students think about what they write and how to write it.

Elysia Yuen, who attended the lecture, stated, “Ethics is a really fine line. Sometimes it is hard to define; it is dependent mostly on what situation you are in and the possible outcome.”

Journalists are given information and take important facts to pull together a story to report. “There is not right or wrong, it is a decision to be made, you do not seek to hurt anyone,” said Fisher. Fisher emphasized that knowing the truth means it must be reported. How a journalist reports it must also be a process, which is thought wisely. Just “be careful in journalism because what you report could go off and hurt somebody,” said Fisher.