Why we need ethics: Brian Williams should not be allowed to return

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There was an interesting article in Vanity Fair outlining the events that led up to NBC’s problems: Long story short, bad management. However, even this interesting story was possibly filled with exaggerations and quotes about individuals that have not been substantiated. (Brokaw says that he has given no indication that he was “Livid” and he maintains he and Williams have a “cordial” relationship.) According to CNN Money‘s interview with Mr. Brokaw.

I don’t care as much about all of that, my biggest issue is the necessity for ethical behavior by our journalists. These are the people we count on to provide us with unbiased news reporting that enables the public to make informed decisions. I know, I keep trying and failing to make this point, but come on people! Where are the honest people? The ones who do not allow their ego to run their lives? 

We invite these people into our homes, and we allow their reporting to influence our decisions. We allow them to help shape our children’s view of the world. We need to be able to trust them. Unfortunately, Brian Williams has violated that trust. 

I find myself wondering who I can trust, and where to turn for accurate, unbiased reporting. I love a good story, and I am not opposed to embellishment. I just prefer that my journalists stick to the facts. They have an incredible power to sway public opinion and need to remain cognizant of the importance of maintaining trust.

It is imperative to maintain journalistic integrity, and to hold the members of the press accountable for their actions. Brian Williams cannot be trusted. It makes me sad, he was a likable personality on screen, but if NBC allows his return, they will be promoting dishonesty and their newscast will become even more unreliable.

Don’t even get me started on his pathetic apology. It sucks to be caught in a lie. Don’t make it worse by underestimating the intelligence of your viewers. Variety posted a nice opinion piece that says it all so much better than I ever could.

It is time to hold ourselves accountable for being honest, and it is time to hold the press accountable. The prevalence of exaggeration and embellishment to make our point (whatever that point may be) has to be acknowledged. Just be real. Stop trying to impress people. It’s not cool, and the public is tired of it. Seriously. Give it a rest.

I would like to see an overhaul of journalism. Instead of the focus on the pretty people, can we bring back the smart, intelligent people? Where is the integrity? Who can we trust? I need somewhere to get my news.

 

11 thoughts on “Why we need ethics: Brian Williams should not be allowed to return

  1. I find it interesting how double sided our standards are as a society. I grew up around the children of people in the news, people who had fan clubs and whole news departments devoted to stalking them, and I saw that their principles and their practices were dissonant. I’ve always kept an open mind about people because of that. Later, working in the media, I also noticed that a lot of my colleagues became skeptical after seeing their idols up close. The people we hold in highest esteem, who we are told should emulate and worship, have the suckiest back stories. We all know that much of these flawless images are manufactured and yet we won’t stop buying into them. Brian Williams wasn’t this way overnight. He drank his own Koolaid and it was convenient for those supervising him to overlook the issue. That’s why, for inspiration, I look at the person next to me and see how they’re going. Real people with real life stories are my TV.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had the good fortune to work in a news room when I was 14 and then again at 16. I learned a lot about what not to do. I still find it so disheartening to see the preeminent members of the press- without the basic integrity that true journalism requires. I suppose I am naive- but, I want to be able to trust something.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. There’s a distinction to be made here between telling an untruth, and misrepresenting elements of the news. We all tell untruths from time to time, for whatever reason. What he did has far greater significance becuase of our expectations of him as one who reports the realities of the world. It brings into question anything he has ever said. I’m disgusted.

    Liked by 1 person

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