How far should a journalist go to get a great story? Ethically what is correct to get a great story? Most journalists want to have a story that really captures their readers and to keep them around to read their work. But when your magazine is the National Enquirer, who already has a bad reputation of lying and fabricating their work, where should those journalists stop and think about what is ethically right and what is ethically right for their company?
It’s ok to exaggerate for the National Enquirer since they are already well known to do so but should journalists go as far as kidnapping in order to get some type of tabloid story? This is the exact case in which two reporters kidnap Brooke Shields’ mentally disabled mother from her home posing as her friends.
Obviously that is very unethical and it also might be an illegal act too. There are also many other examples of reporters going out of their way to try and get a story that ends up being really unethical and sometimes breaking the law.
In this situation with Shields’ mother and the reporters, what are some other approaches they could have done in order to get a tabloid story that didn’t involve kidnapping? Even though they didn’t harm her or threaten her in anyway, do you think it is still ok to take her out of her senior living facility? Do you feel that the National Enquirer as a whole is an unethical magazine and shouldn’t be around?
Journalists, for a real news team or for someone like the National Enquirer, still have a code of ethics that should be followed. There are also ten questions you should ask yourself before you write a story that will help you make better ethical decisions.
How do you feel about these two reporters and how they went about to get a story?