Gross Misconduct

I’ve learned a lot about myself and others since I embarked on my journey in sports broadcasting and journalism. I’m still relatively new in that world.

For the last seventeen years I’ve learned how powerful and impactful words can be, both positively and negatively, not in the aforementioned world of journalism or broadcasting, but in a classroom.

Tuesday’s events opened my eyes to everything that’s wrong with social media.

Everything that’s wrong with one person having the power to reveal private personal information in a public forum.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, integrity and moral compass, but where’s the line drawn in the world of media?

My world’s collided two years ago when I was approached by my school administrators asking if I would be interesting in teaching journalism.

I jumped at the opportunity to teach a subject that I was so passionate about.

I absolutely loved every aspect of teaching the course and was truly inspired by the writing styles of my young compassionate and opinionated students.

Our first assignment was discussing mental health, the personal side and the seriousness of the subject area.

From that moment on a recurring theme in the class was journalist integrity, morality and ethics.

We often discussed the line? Would you ever write something that could hurt someone else’s integrity, would you ever cross the line?

We discussed it countless times, hell all of my students were probably sick and tired of hearing those two words by the end of the semester, but yet I continued to bring it up by providing multiple real life examples at every turn.

You see integrity is everything, I’m just a rookie in all of this, but that should be the first thing anyone teaches you in any journalist endeavour.

Integrity and the impact and power words can have.

Of course it should always be about the story, and getting the scoop, that’s what truly sets the best journalists apart or is it?

When does integrity, morality and ethics come into play?

Where’s the line and who draws it?

Of course it should always be about the story, and getting the scoop, but at what cost?

What about the source?

What about the personal side of the story?

What about the collateral damage your words may have?

You see I witnessed what I would consider a gross misconduct earlier this week.

In a handful of tweets, a reporter crossed the line.

Integrity, morality and ethics, some have it and clearly some don’t.

I’ve learned a lot about myself and others since I embarked on my journey in sports broadcasting and journalism, but I hope I never see such unprofessional, careless and reckless regard for personal and private information ever again.

I really hope that I never see the lack of integrity and respect on any social media platform. Clearly in this day and age, it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

It’s seems nowadays more than ever, the line is being crossed at every turn.

Is it about the story? Is it about the following? Is it about the attention?Is it about a retweet or a like?Where’s the journalist integrity?What about the person’s life? What about the person’s future? What about the person’s career? What about the collateral damage you cause by taking it public?

That’s not the story. It’s a person’s private life that you’re tweeting about and that’s a gross misconduct in my opinion, but hey what do I know I’m just a rookie.

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