We, upcoming journalists have learnt that we have a duty to respect the rights to inform the public truthfully.

We each have been issued with a copy of the Journalist code of ethics, to appreciate and respect. Some of us may follow it as specific rules, where others may think of it only as guidelines. I feel i am going to follow it whenever in doubt and keep it attached to me like a christian and their bible.

The four main areas in the code we are expected to follow include;

1. Honesty
2. Fairness
3. Independence &
4. Respect for the rights of others

Although i respect all the above and expect them in return i feel that i lean strongly towards honesty because this is such a vital factor to consider because without it you defeat all purposes within the code.

In our class yesterday we were told to write down what we value and who we feel we have to be loyal to, within a group, our community, our state and even our country.

I felt that honesty, truth, justice, accuracy and fairness were my strongest values and i felt i had to be loyal to my family, friends, employer, collegues and the community / state / country within themselves. But i felt to be able to be loyal to the above stated i must be loyal to myself. I liked doing this exercise because i felt that it opened my eyes and made me grasp this topic well.

Not only did we look at the code we were introduced to many different views of ethics from some wise philosophers, from ancient times of Plato, Aristotle to modern philosophers – Kant, Mill and Rawl. We also learnt the potter box method, (which i really liked) that helps Journos get over four phases of a moral dilemma when it comes to writing a tricky story – the situation, the values at stake, the ethical principles and who the feel they must be loyal to.

I felt that this lesson was great and helped me a lot because now i understand what to do when facing a moral dilemma not only in journalism but also within my life.

Anyway that is all i have to say. And i shall blog again later…

Cheers, Tameka xx