Monday, November 27, 2006

I interviewed Kurt Watkins for the in class interview. I was surprised that for the most part we had a lot more in common than we had uncommon. We were both from the State of Texas, athough he was from a suburb of Dallas and am from a little city out side of Austin. We were both from a divorced family but came out of it alright. We shared a common interest in Mexican food and considered ourselves to be some what liberal in our political focus.

As far as things that we didn't have in common Kurt was not a fan of being outdoors. When asked where we would like to vacation he said he would go to the beach where as i thought I would have more fun in the mountains of Colorado. Kurt had also lived abroad. He once spent some time in Spain, which I found to be very interesting. I have never been out of the country, well I have been to Mexico and Canada but I've never been over seas. I have always wanted to go over seas though, I have just never been given a chance.
I learned that even though people come from different backgrounds there is still a lot that people can share. I think that the fact that Kurt and I are both journalism majors with a specification in PR narrows things a little, but we still had a lot in common.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Since this is an ethics course I figure this would be the best place to talk about something that I ran across the other day. I write for a newspaper covering the football team (I'll leave names and specifics out just to avoid any trouble) and the other day my editor asked me if I would like to go in with him on betting agaisnt the team that I am writing about. Now since deciding to major in journalism a few things that have been beat into my head are truthful, objectivity, and unbiasness. Now how could I be any of those above words if I were to bet on a team. It doesn't even matter if I were to bet for the team, I simply could not right an objective article over the team. At first I kind of laughed at the idea and brushed it off but the more I think about it the more it bothers me. Ever since I have started working at this paper my editor has tried to get me to write stories agaisnt the coach and against the team and what not and this has always bothered me. I always tell him that I will right what I see and if I see the coach is doing a bad job, I'll put that in my story, if he isn't then its not going in there. But to ask me to bet crossed the line I think. Journalism is a field that ethics and strong morals are important because as journalist we have the power to inform and influence a large amount of people. This is a power that also comes with great responsibility and to abuse this could have very negative effects. Now I know that beating on a football team isn't going to hurt anyone, but it could effect my career a lot and this is not something I am willing to take. So of course I declined and went about my business and wrote the best story I thought I could, but I couldn't help but think back on my editor. I am personally somewhat offended that he would even think to ask me if I would like to partake in something like this. It kind of makes me wonder, I have always thought of myself as a truthful and honest person, but do I not come across this way. Or perhaps my editor didn't think there was anything wrong with it, I guess we'll never know. But for one last thought, look at what happened to Pete Rose when he bet on games. Yeah it was just baseball, but try telling him that, he lost the game and the sure shot at the Hall of Fame. Yeah it was simply an offer to bet on a college game, but what could I have lost had I taken the opportunity?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Bad decisions led by poor ethics reared their ugly this weekend as Evangelical leader Ted Haggard admitted to having a sexual problem. Haggard, who was the leader of New Life Church based out of based out of Denver Co., was outed by former gay prostitute Mike Jones Friday afternoon. The funny thing about all this was that Haggard was known for his preaching against gay maarraige. Jones told reporters that he had had sexual relations with Haggard for three years and had decided to break the news to, hopefully, affect the gay marraige vote in this weeks polls.
Haggard, a well known evangelist throughout the nation had kept his secret hidden from everyone around him including his wife. Even when the news was broke he denied even knowing Jones before later recanting his statement and admitting he knew of him. Regardless of Haggard's sexual orientation he had used poor ethics by keeping the secret from his wife and friends. And to make matters worse, he should how much of a hyprocrite he was by going against his preaching. He not only hurt his followers but also those around him by keeping secrets. The news that was leaked out is not the important fact in this case, what is important is that he lied and used poor judgement to mislead those around him. This just goes to show you that everything you do can and will catch up to, its just a matter of time. Poor ethics will bring down those who use them.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Well it was good to see that Skilling got sentenced, but of course where is he at right now, sitting at home probably watching fox news with a electronic device around his ankle. If someone like me were to commit crimes like the ones Skilling did that would haul me off to jail right then and there. And what is with the 4 months, why not just round it up to life in prison. I know sentencing him to jail won't give back the money that was lost by enron investors but there is some gratification in it all. Whats even worse is that the Bush administration had its hands in all this as well. Just days ago the Bush team " to protect our President's boardroom buddies from any further discomforts, the Bush Justice Department, just days ago, indicted Milberg Weiss, the law firm that nailed Enron's finance industry partners-in-crime. The timing of the bust of this, the top corporation-battling law firm, smacks of political prosecution - and a signal to Big Business that it's business as usual." I just don't understand how our government, that is supposed to be for the people, could let something like this go so lightly. I guess this is why people like us are supposed to step in and vote for the people who act on the laws make sure that justice will be served.

Monday, October 16, 2006

As a sports reporter for NT Daily, the T.O situation really hit home to me. What struck me as odd was after walking around campus and hearing the dull roar of rumors swirling and people laughing at how the media reporter an attempted suicide by ownens. However, when all was said and done Terrell had said it was just an accident and that the report got it all wrong. After this I began hearing people laugh at the media for reporting the wrong thing and how this just added fuel to the fire that the media are these terrible things that blow everything out of proportion. This bothers me because the media didn't get it wrong in this case they got it right. They reporter what the police report said. Since when is a police report not a credible source. I will give that a lot of the times the media does over analyze things and go too far, this has been the case with T.O for the most part, however it wasn't in this particular situation. In this case, the media used a source that is as credible as they come, but they still got flack for it. It just doesn't seem fair to me that right or wrong, the media will always be the bad guy.

Friday, September 22, 2006

After reading the article about Lauri Fitz-Pegado, I was shocked at how the situation was handled. Being a future PR professional this is possibly one of the most unethical things I have seen. Although it is wrong and shouldn't happen, I understand when people report the wrong information or get something wrong because they were either given the info or didn't take the time to look it up. However, I think it is absolutely ridiculous that a PR person would "coach" someone into telling the world a complete lie simply to gain approval for a war. It is things like this that give PR professionals a bad name, and also the reason that everytime I talk to reporters for the DRC they joke about PR being the "evil" part of journalism.
On a different note, the effects of this lie made their way all the way up to the head of Washington where our nations president and even 6 senate members quoted the story in thier reasons for going to war. Again it is one thing for me to get something wrong, and I understand that the newspaper, tv and other media is where our nation gets its information from. But our president and leaders of our nation are you kidding me, this is unbelievable. Oh well, all I can do is say that I have stronger ethics than this and I will never let it happen on my watch.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

In the article by the NY Times dealing with Hewlett-Packard lies a tangled web of lies and deciet. The article is about a H.P executive, Thomas J. Perkins, resigned because he had a run in with a bad case of identity theft. The problem was that there was some sort of leak in board room meetings and someone had used his ssn as well as others to obtain phone records. By doing this they were able to access phone records, illegally, and eventually find out who was the mole on the board.

However, simply finding out who was leaking the information isn't the real problem here. When Perkins resigned he was upset at the way things had been handled and how his privacy had been invaded. H.P then ran into trouble with the SEC for listing Perkins resignation simply as that, a resignation, rather than a disagreement between business partners which it was. H.P is also in trouble for not giving out information within 24 hours if information has already been leaked. It looks like a long road ahead for the booming computer company that is currently looking at multiple investigations.