Sampling of stories & clips that reveal the ethical decisions journalists face

Correspondent Lara Logan of "60 Minutes" is on a leave of absence following an internal review by CBS News of her story on the Benghazi embassy attack. (AP Photo/Robert Spencer)

CBS memos suggest Logan had bias, but don’t say why no one addressed it

The CBS memos from Jeff Fager, chairman of CBS News, and Al Ortiz, executive director of standards and practices, suggest that correspondent Lara Logan had a preconceived bias that prevented her from fully vetting her source before airing his story … Read more


Tuesday, Nov. 08, 2011

Sharon Bialek, a Chicago-area woman, addresses a news conference at the Friars Club, Monday, Nov. 7, 2011, in New York. Bialek accused Republican presidential contender Herman Cain of making an unwanted sexual advance against her in 1997. She says she wants to provide "a face and a voice" to support other accusers who have so far remained anonymous. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Why did journalists act as a pack in withholding names of Herman Cain’s accusers?

Until today, media covering allegations of sexual harassment leveled against Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain have universally withheld the identities of the women, who did not voluntarily come forward.

Then today, The Daily, Rupert Murdoch’s iPad publication, revealed the identity Read more


Thursday, Feb. 23, 2006

A New Ethics Column from Poynter

Hello Everybody,

We’d like to alert you to a new blog – Everyday Ethics — by Poynter’s Kelly McBride and colleagues. The column includes reports on ethical decision-making in newsrooms big and small, and will provide shorter, more frequently updated … Read more


Wednesday, Nov. 09, 2005

Covering the End of Life: Tips & Resources

The living will is a nice idea that isn’t working, says a report by the Hastings Center expected to be released Thursday afternoon. This news comes after thousands of people created such documents in order to avoid the fate of Terri Schiavo, … Read more


Monday, Aug. 01, 2005

DeFede and Beyond: Second Chance Ethics

Sometimes I feel journalists work in a
reform-minded, ethical environment that seems as efficient at dealing
with ethical lapses as the French state was with political lapses
during its 18th century revolution. In both cases,
transgressors faced immediate consequences. … Read more


Wednesday, Mar. 23, 2005

Schiavo Case a Chance for Journalists to Lead

The national debate over the fate of Terri Schiavo lays bare the ways we in America talk about our most important values. It is a cautionary tale for journalists faced with the challenge of framing issues fueled by fiercely held … Read more


Friday, Mar. 04, 2005

On the Dangers of Holding Back

The arrest of a suspect in the BTK serial murder case in Wichita, Kan., is shining a light on a common police beat practice – holding back.

In the 1970s, Cathy Henkel was a staff writer at the Wichita Sun, … Read more


Thursday, Jan. 20, 2005

The Reporting Process Unveiled (Warning, It’s Not Pretty)


The CBS report released almost two weeks ago pulls apart the reporting process and reveals the many faults of the “60 Minutes Wednesday” investigation. It provides a rare and detailed look at the path this particular investigation took … Read more


Friday, Jan. 07, 2005

Covering Trauma & Tragedy: What it Takes

Dr. Frank Ochberg remembers the first time he cut into a live human being. He was doing his surgical rotation as a medical student decades ago. He held the scalpel as his teacher placed a hand on top of his. … Read more


Friday, Dec. 17, 2004

Journalists: More Ethical than People Realize?

The American public thinks journalists are ethically challenged, according to a Gallup Poll. Yet another study shows journalists have highly developed abilities when it comes to moral reasoning. What gives?

First the studies. The American public doesn’t trust reporters. This … Read more