A. I used the “Ethical Decision-Making Guide” by Kathy Fitzpatrick to address the ethical dilemma of recording.
- 1. Define the specific ethical issue/conflict: The ethical conflict is how to record interviews in a way that is both legal and ethical.
- 2. Internal/external factors
- a. Reputation (internal): A reporter’s credibility will certainly be compromised if the information is obtained or recorded without the direct consent of those recorded. Furthermore, sources will not be open to further interviews with underhanded reporters.
- b. Legality (external): in states like California, two parties must consent to the recording of a conversation. If this is breached, the reporter may face not only damage to their reputation, but potential legal consequences depending on the state where the consent was not given.
- 3. Key Values
- Honesty: A reporter must explain to a interviewee how they are to be recorded beforehand.
- Expertise: A reporter must utilize their best knowledge skillset while working. A good reporter will always work towards a higher credibility, mutual understanding and a positive relationship with diverse audiences and institutions.
- Fairness: Fairness must be incorporated into all interactions with clients, employers, competitors and the general public
- Respect: The right to free expression and opinions must be upheld.
- 4. Affected Parties:
- The interviewee could be negatively affected by the release of unconsented information. It could be a poor reflection on them individually and the organization they represent. If they accidentally speak slanderously about the organization they represent and their supervisor sees the report, they may lose their job in addition to hurting the organization’s reputation
- The reporter will lose their credibility and face legal consequences if they record an interview without a party’s necessary consent in regard’s to the state’s code of compliance.
- 5. Ethical Principles:
- Free Flow of Information: A reporter must preserve communication’s integrity by maintaining complete honesty and accuracy.
- Disclosure of Information: A reporter must maintain honesty and accuracy and avoid deceptive practices in all communication.
- Safeguarding Confidences: Maintain a client’s trust by protecting their confidential and private information, along with the reporter’s own information.
- 6. Decision:
- a. A professional reporter will realize that one exclusive, trust-breaking scoop that would compromise their integrity and potentially the well-being of the subject is not worth damaging their overall reputation over and should stick to honest and fair reporting techniques.