PRSA Nebraska Ethics Minute – March 2015 by Jeremy Harris Lipschultz

UncategorizedNo Comments

PRSA Nebraska Ethics Minute: Ethics and Trust
A closer look at some of the most serious media ethics issues of 2014 reveals that trust remains an important foundation. One only needs to consider Brian Williams’ current suspension from NBC News to see that the public expects high standards for accuracy and truth.
The iMediaEthics.org site recently listed 10 top issues last year. Among the items, Rolling Stone’s lapses in reporting a 2012 alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia included ignoring fraternity and university statements to the contrary that were made available prior to publication. While an apology may be uncomfortable for a media organization, this and other recent cases show coming clean about mistakes is good public relations.
This goes to the issue of trust. As Inc.com notes, trust is earned over a long period of demonstrating character: “We are trusted because of our way of being, not because of our polished exteriors or our expertly crafted communications.” As Omaha’s Warren Buffett likes to remind people: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” Others connect trust to integrity, strong and fair relationships, leadership and teamwork. One of my favorite quotes on the Inc. list comes from the late Stephen R. Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: “When the trust account is high, communication is easy, instant, and effective.”

What’s New

Upcoming Events