Sep 26, 2009

The collector

In a piece about blurring lines, Poynter writes about a television reporter in Fresno who has to decide between her compassion for others and the strict ethical guidlines of her profession. She chooses compassion - and then writes a book about it.

Except the reporter's story isn't one of balancing compassion and ethics.

As described by Poynter, the television reporter, Alysia Sofios, covered a mass murder for her station and then later invited some of the surviving family members to live in her house. Whether that decision breaches ethical guidelines, if Sofios refrained from there on out from covering the story, is up for debate. But Sofios decided to help cover the trial of the man charged with the murders - a man Sofios' new roommates likely hated - and kept her compassionate act a secret from her colleagues and the television viewers.

To me, that's just bad judgment.


Anonymous said...

Actually, the Wesson women far from hated their father/husband. In fact, they were his staunchest supporters.

Anonymous said...

At every newspaper that ever employed me, that is a firing offense on about 72 levels!

Anonymous said...

Question is, if it saved these poor women's lives, do you still think it was a bad decision overall? Journalistic ethics or rules seem pale in comparison.

Anonymous said...

How did a reporter covering a story that she was emotionally compromised on save anybody's life?

Anonymous said...

The ethics violation is in keeping the situation concealed from her editors and/or producers.

For my viewpoint, she made the right choice in helping others. Then she needed to inform her "superiors" of what she did and recuse herself from further reportage on that subject.