Journalism’s first loyalty is to citizens.
This principle is a difficult one for journalists to follow in my opinion. There are so many outside (or inside) sources that could potentially take a journalists loyalty. Here is an example I found…
This cartoon demonstrates the principle I was talking about earlier. They are showing that the government controls journalism and that journalists loyalty lies with the government. Some reporters or news stations do put their loyalty with the government or with powerful people, when it should be with the general public. The public should be the first obligation of journalist’s, but that is not the case in journalism today.
Some journalists loyalty tends to change often. This article talks about what loyalty is and how a role reversal has taken place recently. They defined loyalty as an allegiance to a person, place, or ideal. Journalists lately have been switching their loyalty from the public to other ideals. This article thinks that a journalists loyalty lies with the truth, which would be an ideal. They believe that loyalty has transferred from a person to an idea. I think that loyalty could lie with both potentially.
This next article has an interesting view on journalist’s loyalty. They think that loyalty has shifted. At one time journalists used to identify themselves with a certain organization or news station, but they are now identifying themselves as individuals more often, which mirrors our ideals as a nation. We are starting to shift our thinking in all areas of our lives to more individualistic thinking. Journalists are following this trend, and it is resulting in a shift in loyalty. I think that loyalty should be with the public and journalists have the responsibility to report for and to the general public.