By Casey Bukro
Ethics AdviceLine for Journalists
Back in 1972, a Harris poll found that only 18 percent of the public had confidence in the print media; television ranked lower.
Garbage collectors scored higher in public confidence.
As a reporter for the Chicago Tribune at the time, I thought that was shameful, and not only for journalism and journalists.
That got me started on a lifelong mission to make the news media more trustworthy, and to earn public confidence in the belief that factual information is the lifeblood of a self-governing democracy.
You’d think you were on the side of the angels if you spent much of your life campaigning for journalism ethics. But you need more than angels to make much headway in getting the public’s respect and the cooperation of journalists, some of whom consider journalism ethics an oxymoron. A contradiction in terms.