Whether working for a local paper in a town of 2,000 or a national paper with global reach, the role of journalism is the same: make positive change for the betterment of a community. I will bring this to fruition through my work by...
Delivering truth: I've seen in my career deterrers from the truth including the want to appease the public, financial influences and the protection of reputations. I believe there are instances where facts are unnecessary and can be withheld, but these outside factors must be ignored if the truth would better the greater community. I will ignore these influences when reporting and make a decision based off my ethics.
Assuring accuracy and balance: Trust in journalists is at an all-time low in this country. That's why accuracy and balance are so important. Every time I send a story I have a list of requirements before I send it to the copy desk. During several read-throughs, I will double-check every fact. I will make sure I've found every counterpoint and opposing view. I will ensure each story is fair, complete and accurate.
Giving a voice to the voiceless: Every community has many stories still untold. Unfortunately, those forgotten by reporters is often disproportionate. I learned this lesson from a coworker who realized we often reported on a certain neighborhood only when there is crime. He went into these neighborhoods and brought back stories that contradict the negative opinions people formed of these areas of this city. I will do the same. I will share these stories and I will contradict false perceptions.
Taking ownership: Even with following my ethical code, there will be times I am at fault. The best response to any mistake is to admit fault and move forward. I will answer the concerns of a reader or editor. I will show how I plan to move forward. As I've done before, I will own the mistake and take steps, so I don't repeat it.
We have a huge responsibility as journalists. We hold the attention of our public and the ability to make change. From the conception of a story to the decision to publish, I will make sure that every step taken is with the community in mind.