In class we got the chance to watch the Citizen McCaw incidents that were centered around telling the truth or withholding the truth. Wendy McCaw the owner of the Santa Barbara newspaper refused the publishing of a story involving her boyfriend in a drunk driving situation. This is considered a conflict of interest. Of course, this caused quite the controversy in the newsroom as well as the city.
Many of the journalists found it to be unethical to pick and chose which stories were relevant based on personal aspects. They claimed that telling the truth is the only way to go.
Personally, as an aspiring journalist as well as human being, I believe honesty is the best policy. Withholding the truth from the readers is lying. Think about how many stories would go untold if every story was chosen not to run because of a conflict of interest. Obviously, it’s near impossible not to run into such a situation and the only ethical choice is treating the story just like any other.
This decision shows maturity as well as integrity. Part of running a good newspaper is gaining credibility through the integrity of the employees as well as representatives of the newspaper. A total of seven journalists for the Santa Barbara newspaper quit and rightfully so. They decided they could not work for such a company, with an owner who did not stand for what was fair.
I agree with their decision to terminate their time working there, it shows their priorities are focused on what is really important; giving the people the truth.