Conflicting Loyalties and Personal Choices
This chapter focuses on the tension between journalists' ethos-driven adherence to personal detachment from story sources and “personal values and instincts.” The goal is to break down this perceived dichotomy: “Walking onto the job doesn't mean walking away from ourselves. Presuming to do so is, at best, dishonest. At worst, dangerous.” Rather, a journalist's humanity is what allows her to get closer to the truth of a situation, thereby serving journalism's highest purpose. The chapter reinforces the book's “this is hard stuff” mantra; ethical journalists cannot just engage in knee-jerk adherence to standard principles, such as detachment, but must carefully think through the values underlying those principles and determine whether they should be followed in specific cases.
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