a fellow thinker’s perspective

March 10th, 2009

TheThinkMovement.com by j. sakiya sandifer

Bad ethics in A-Rod ’story’
This letter originally appeared in The Jersey Journal on Tuesday, Feb. 17.

I’ve been a journalist for more than 20 years as I approach my mid-40’s.  And I am so weary of what “journalism” has become.  There was a time when ethics was number 1 in the news arena.  That was when there wasn’t conservative or liberal news channels and reporters, there was just news, straight down the middle news.

That was also a time when intelligence and education combined to determine who could claim the title of journalist because at least it guaranteed some sort of foundation of ethics, right to know and public good.

I think Sports Illustrated was wrong to air the A-Rod story because their motive was purely to be first, not right.  Here’s why.

1. To release the information shows that there was bias, particularly whoever violated a binding agreement that this was a private and anonymous test.

2. The fruit from the forbidden theory of law applies here. Ill-gotten evidence can’t be used in a court of law.

3. Does this open the door for “journalists” to use other private information on an individual’s health records or other tests just because “four independent” sources confirmed it?   No.  Still ill-gotten information.

4. Ethically, SI should have confronted the unions and Major League Baseball and done a bigger story on the sources who broke the law and the letter of the agreement by releasing the private information.  That would have been real journalism, not seeking sensationalism and to be the first for first’s sake and completely denying this guy his right to whatever privacy was allegedly guaranteed in the first place.

The bottom line is releasing this thing had nothing to do with journalism, in its purest sense, or journalistic integrity, whatsoever.  And the radio, TV and garbage magazine pundits who call it such were not, and will never be, true journalists.

Let’s remember, this isn’t Watergate, where sources were looking out for the credibility of the entire country.  This is a sport, which for commercialism’s sake and the dumbing down of America, people take far too serious in the first place.  If you want to get to the root of steroids, look at the NFL and the freaks of nature that make up most of every team.


TheThinkMovement.com by j. sakiya sandifer

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