My digital allotment

Conflicts of interest in Journalism: Gifts

Under no circumstances should you accept the gift. Not only is this too valuable a gift for it to be a genuine, but it is accompanied by a note which explicitly explains that this is a bribe and not a gift. The overtness and arrogance of this bribe would likely make my blood boil and so I would need to remain calm in order to rationally process the situation and consider the most appropriate course of action.

Accepting the gift, even by simply not returning it, would give the impression that you (as a Journalist) are happy to accept the request of the cafe and write a favourable report about them. This would not only result in you breaking the ethical standards, but could also potentially ruin your credibility, reputation and ultimately occupation as a Journalist.

I think the best course of action would be to return the gift to the owners of the new coffee cafe immediately. A polite accompanying letter would explain that I am not only shocked that they could make such a request of me, but would also detail that accepting the gift would be against the code of conduct as prescribed by the National Union of Journalists. I would further explain that such corruption could lead to a media model very far from free media and that I would appreciate it if they would refrain from any similar efforts in future.

My letter would also include a section asking the owners of the new cafe to have more respect for Journalism and to consider how they would feel if they discovered that the news which they access was being published based on acts of bribery rather than through legitimate sources.

I believe that under these circumstances that it would be inappropriate for me as a Journalist to write any article about this new coffee cafe as it would be difficult for me to remain objective after this incident.


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This entry was posted on January 3, 2017 by in Journalism Course.
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