The Media, Communication and Journalism department hosted an ethics in journalism panel in the Henry Madden Library on Sept. 27, where nearly every seat was filled by students and faculty.
Moderated by Fresno State Institute for Media and Public Trust Executive Director Jim Boren, the panel included guests from print, broadcast and radio news outlets.
Major talking points of the panel included ethics being a journalist’s main source of credibility, how local news outlets are actively trying to cover underrepresented groups and the importance of media literacy.
“Without ethics, journalism is nothing,” Fresno Bee reporter Brianna Calix said.
A member of the audience asked the panel if the relationship between the public and news outlets, also called the “trust gap,” will improve. The panel agreed that with ethical news coverage, it is possible. “There is hope,” KSEE 24 weekend anchor Megan Rupe said.
Both Calix and Rupe believe restoring the public’s trust in media can be done by going out every day and sharing stories that matter without bias.
KMJ News talk radio program director Blake Taylor maintained that it is the consumer’s responsibility to use a critical eye on the information that is being presented.
Taylor explained the radio program he works for presents fair news stories at the top and bottom of every hour, in accordance with FCC regulations. The radio talk shows featured in between are presented by hosts paid to give their opinions on particular topics, he explained.
Those opinion pieces are not subject to “fairness” or presenting both sides of an issue. Consumers need to be aware of the difference, he added.
Public relations major Jordan Houseworth attended the panel, along with professor Dr. Nancy Van Leuven’s media stereotypes class.
“I really enjoyed this talk. Going into journalism, ethics is really important and helps in everyday life. This was a great, informative panel that opened my eyes to more insight,” Houseworth said.
For more tips on media literacy and information on the trust gap visit the institute’s website.