Ethical Scenario

The ethical scenarios I choose concerned anonymous sources from a police department. The story at hand was internal drug smuggling. I choose to cite the police officers anonymously which led to a police chief on the record interview, which when published outraged the police chief and he said that he would not give the newspaper any more interviews. I think this story is newsworthy and does need to be covered, however I think a story with anonymous sources is a poorly reported story. Another issue is the fact that the police officers and chiefs have been sources in the past for articles. As reporter who has reliable sources, I wouldn’t publish something that would burn the bridge to a reliable, official source. I feel like the reporter was seeking truth and trying to report it. The reporter wanted to know who was stealing the drugs and the public needed/wanted to know as well. The reporter was trying to minimize harm by not publishing the names of sources that were off the record. The reporter was trying to act independently of any interest other than the public’s right to truth. The reporter was still reporting on a story that needed to be covered despite the friendship he/she had with the officers on the police force. The reporter was trying to be accountable to the readers of the newspaper, by offering the police chief an opportunity for a clarification interview. I feel like this case is on a need to know basis. The public needs to know if there is corruption going on in the local police force. 

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