Deception In The Truth

Submitted By kabromaitis
Words: 463
Pages: 2

In 1964, Harry Pearson received a tip from an Army sergeant that some of the officers in the Arkansas National Guard had worn campaign bumper stickers on their helmets during the Governor’s Day parade. Pearson asked the colonel if it was true and he said yes, confirming that they blatantly violated the rule that the Army stands above politics. By insinuating to the colonel that he knew he was the violator, Pearson was practicing deception.

Gene Foreman, who was Pearson’s editor at the time, asked several journalists if Pearson’s bluffing was an acceptable reporting technique and the verdict was yes.

Roy Reed, a former New York Times reporter said that, “You don’t always tell all you know. At other times, you indicate that you know more than you do. The public needs to know the information, and the source may not be forthright”

The chapter then goes on to give more examples of times that journalists didn’t necessarily explain who they were, in order to get information that was pertinent to the story. Homer Bigart, Jack Nelson, Gene Roberts, Athelia Knight, and Mayhill Fowler are all guilty of practicing misrepresentation by getting information through eavesdropping on people’s conversations without alerting them that they were talking in front of a journalist.

Many journalists have held the position that they have no moral obligation to identify themselves at a large gathering. At a large gathering, journalists reason, it is absurd for people and speakers (if at an event like Obama addressing San Francisco) to keep what they say a secret.

A journalist’s job is to inform the public and to do that the news organizations must gain the public’s trust and not squander that trust by publishing misinformation. In a survey for investigative reporters and editors, it