Where Have Our Ethics Gone?

I cringe when I see that FOX News has been so disingenuous, some might say even corrupt, that it is being sued for $1.6 billion in a defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems.

Simply put, the suit claims that FOX News knew that election fraud claims were false but promoted them anyway.

Texts released as part of the suit indicate that FOX News hosts and others inside the network had serious misgivings about claims of election fraud and expressed their concerns to one another even as they told their audiences of millions a very different story of fraud and malfeasance at the polls.

Let’s be clear.  Talk show hosts are not journalists, even though many journalists work for stations and networks that also carry legitimate news.

One of the pillars of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics is that journalists should seek truth and report it.

“Members of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy.”

The code of ethics also states that journalists should: “Recognize a special obligation to serve as watchdogs over public affairs and government. Seek to ensure that the public’s business is conducted in the open, and that public records are open to all.”

And, in the case of FOX News, “Expose unethical conduct in journalism, including within their organizations.”

Public Relations practitioners who are members of the Public Relations Society of America also subscribe to a Code of Ethics.

A couple of key points are:

A member shall:

  • Preserve the integrity of the process of communication.
  • Be honest and accurate in all communications.

It’s shameful to see how far off track some have gotten.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Written by
at Mar 15, 2023

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