‘The truth – I do not think so because truth has been sacrificed on the altars of deep pockets, greed, and personal and private interests and profits!’
MALAYSIA ASEAN/APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST SAYS TRUTH IS DEAD – WE ARE NOW DROWNED OUT BY HALF TRUTHS, LIES AND FAKE NEWS!
Recently, Jane Pauley asked Hillary Clinton a simple question during a sit-down on CBS’ “Sunday Morning”: Were there mistakes she made that led to her loss in the 2016 presidential race?
Hillary’s response was telling.
“I think the — the most important of the mistakes I made was using personal email,” she acknowledged.
“I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, that was my responsibility.
It was presented in such a really negative way, and I never could get out from under it.
And it never stopped.”
Those who brought me up from the late 50’s in Sungei Petani, Kedah were very good and honest people!
They instilled in me from a young age that always say the truth!
It sets you free!
It is always better to tell the truth and shame the devil!
This same concept holds true in journalism today and writers in online media!
Of course, the ‘devil’ these days perhaps, that person (s) who can by seconds make certain you will never have any financial, position, honorific or other worries – period and all that you need to do is compromise, spin, create a doubt, write an alternate narrative and at best get so many versions out there that the truth gets lost in the process?
But for me at the twilight of this journey we call life, I believe that in order for a journalist and anyone else that includes me as opinion shapers, and I am that, having done so for the last 40 years of my life as Malaysia, ASEAN/APEC Lead Consumerist to gain respect, credibility and trust from their audience, we must report the truth.
Certainly, there are ethical guidelines in place for journalists to follow to enable them to gain trust and respect from their audiences.
Like all professionals be they doctors, lawyers, engineers, journalists have their set of codes of ethics to follow.
And providing true information to the public is on the top of each of these lists.
These codes of ethics are a platform for journalists to go off of.
In order to be an ethical journalist, you must always focus on telling the truth.
But why Tell the Truth?
It is important for journalists to tell the truth because the public depends on them.
The public depends on journalist’s every day for information to update and enlighten them on what is going on in society, good, bad and ugly so that they can make informed decisions!
If the public cannot trust journalists to give them true news information, then who can they trust?
It is the duty of journalists to take the time to gather true information before they report on a story.
Once journalists start reporting on things that are not true, their credibility is lost.
But the truth these days where journalists can be bought as can their top editors and even media companies are beholden to political patronage/ownership anything is possible!
But that never gets off from the ethical principle these days lost that the duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues.
Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty.
Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist’s credibility.
Journalists should be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.
CASSA’S 18 POINT ADVICE TO SCRIBES:
1. Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error.
2. Deliberate distortion is never permissible.
3. Diligently seek out subjects of news stories to give them the opportunity to respond to allegations of wrongdoing.
4. Identify sources whenever feasible. The readers/public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources’ reliability.
5. Always question sources’ motives before promising anonymity. Clarify conditions attached to any promise made in exchange for information. Keep promises.
6. Make certain that headlines, news teases and promotional material, photos, video, audio, graphics, sound bites and quotations do not misrepresent. They should not oversimplify or highlight incidents out of context.
7. Never distort the content of news photos or video. Image enhancement for technical clarity is always permissible. Label montages and photo illustrations.
8. Avoid misleading re-enactments or staged news events. If re-enactment is necessary to tell a story, label it.
9. Avoid undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information except when traditional open methods will not yield information vital to the public. Use of such methods should be explained as part of the story
10. Never plagiarize.
11. Tell the story of the diversity and magnitude of the human experience boldly, even when it is unpopular to do so.
12. Examine their own cultural/religious values and avoid imposing those values on others.
13. Avoid stereotyping by race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance or social status.
14. Support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.
15. Give voice to the voiceless; official and unofficial sources of information can be equally valid.
16. Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context.
17. Distinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two.
18. Recognize a special obligation to ensure that the public’s business is conducted in the open and with accountability, transparency and with good governance as cornerstones!
Is it possible in 2017?
The truth – I do not think so because truth has been sacrificed on the altars of deep pockets, greed, and personal and private interests and profits!