INTEGRITY AS A TOOL OF JOURNALISM
“If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything,” says Gordon A. Eadi.
One of the significant ethics of the journalism profession is integrity, which involves the ability to say things and make a report without an inch of compromise or leaving any fact behind no matter how little, having it in mind that “whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.”
Integrity is vital if a journalist wants to investigate issues thoroughly to establish the truth. A journalist with integrity is someone that should never have a price tag, be a collector of brown envelopes, or a requester of bankrolling. They do not accept favors, bribes, promises, or tolerate manipulations.
Although in our society today, it may look impossible to abide with these conditions, due to pressure, intimidation, or maybe threats of life, journalists are the last line of hope, transparency, truth, and fairness, and must do all it takes to remain spotless.
As a journalist, pay attention to these points:
• Avoid taking money from people, groups, or organizations to bury facts gathered.
• Rebel against financial rewards except your salary received from your employer.
• Never report story based on emotions, biases, or partisan interests.
• Never promote your interests over that of your media organization.
• Avoid intentional manipulation of facts, including visual information.
• Always be far away from lobbying activities.
• Always reject free or subsidized products or services from those whose brands are featuring in your output.
To be a Journalist with integrity, you must strongly be guided by the five principles of ethical journalism, which includes;
• Independence – The ability to act with non-alignment to any political, corporate, or cultural interest.
• Humanity – Always publish or broadcast harmless words or images, when unavoidable, viewer’s discretion should be advised.
• Truth and Accuracy – Credibility is at the heart of journalism. All relevant facts gotten should be checked thoroughly before publications.
• Accountability – When errors are committed, they must be corrected promptly, and your expressions of regret must be genuine, not cynical.
• Fairness and Impartiality – knowing well that most stories have at least two sides, stories should be balanced because an impartial reporting builds trust.
These principles will give you chainless status that will help you shine light in dark places and dig out facts from the dirtiest of muds.
Dear journalist, always remember that integrity is the soul of journalism.
In the end, you should always do the right thing even if it’s hard.