Tuesday, November 3, 2009

How Far Do You Go To Get A Story?

THE FBI ACCUSED a Detroit broadcast journalist of lying to a source in order to gain entry into a building, according to a story in the Detroit Free Press.

Authorities say that the reporter acted as though she was given permission to enter a veterinary clinic where an FBI dog was being treated for a gunshot wound. The clinic staff escorted the reporter back to the emergency room before realizing she didn't belong there.

The reporter said, “I've never knowingly lied to anyone in my life. The vet management knew I was a reporter and saw the giant NBC flag on my handheld mike before I ever went in.”

Her station alleges that the newspaper story was inaccurate.

Regardless, the situation raises an interesting question: how far would you go to get a story? Should you lie to gain entry into places? Should you schmooze people in order to get information from them?


Aleks Molnar said...

I can't believe that she's "never knowingly lied to anyone in [her] life." I'm not saying people cannot be honest, mind you, but in a career like this, people are keniving and do what they can for a story.

Journalism is a business. Schmoozing may not be the best option, but sometimes it's what you've gotta do. She lied and got caught. Sucks for her. Do it better next time.

Luis Crespo said...

This recalls a similar situation after 9/11 when Vince DeMentri, who was then with WCBS/Channel 2 in New York, passed as an ATF agent while trying to pass a checkpoint at Ground Zero.

Megan McNerney said...

In order to be a good Journalist you have to go to extremes to get the story you want. She was not hurting anyone in order to get this story and I do not believe what she did was wrong. Although I do think she lied when she said she had never intentionally lied to someone in her life.
I think as a journalist you should definitely schmooze to get information that you want. People are much more likely to me friendly and open with someone who schmoozes than who has a bad attitude.

Wafai Dias said...

I would go far for a story that I know will be effective. I don't think that I would lie to get into a place. However, I'm sure that I'll try to sneak in if I'm passionate about it. I wouldn't schmooze people into getting information because I feel as though Journalists already have bad reputations so I wouldn't do that in fear of gaining a bad name for myself and other journalists.

Anonymous said...

FELICIA TOPSALE SAYS............ I think it happens all the time. I don't think it is such a bad thing to tell a white lie to get a little information but lying about your identity is wrong.