By Marivir R. Montebon
New York – As worry continue to grip people over the novel coronavirus as a global pandemic, the FilAm Press Club of New York managed to discuss media ethics as part of its professional development program, to respond to the mounting concerns on fake news and heightened socio-political issues.
Former senior editor of LA Times and New York Times Terry Schwadron provided fresh insight on the moral principles that spell the ethics of media practitioners on February 28, 2020 at the auspices of the National Writers Union.
Schwadron’s input on media ethics was foremost and mainly on accuracy, which to me, is a technical synonym for truth. Ethics too involved clarity and actionability of one’s story, said Schwadron.
Schwadron spent a good 45 years in print journalism, years which he called the heydays of journalism. He started his journalism career in the newsroom of The Providence Journal on Rhode Island, the longest running print publication in the US which opened in 1832.
He made headway to Los Angeles Times, and finally with The New York Times until 2014, retiring as a senior editor.
“I chose to become a journalist, thinking that through it, I may be able to help change the world,” he said.
Schwadron made a clear distinction between what’s a journalist and what’s not. “A niece of mine had mentioned that she’s a travel writer, and gets to live in a hotel, write about it and its restaurants. That to me is not journalism. That is PR,” he said.
Journalism, as it is technically defined, is history in a hurry. It unearths the truth, the one element in reporting that journalists confess allegiance to at all times, regardless of political or economic vested interests may have in the business of reportage.
Schwadron expressed concern that with the advent of social media, fake news and the subversion of truth, could affect the mindset and decision-making of the public.
“The challenge is even greater these days for media practitioners. I worry for my grandchildren and the younger generation, with the deluge of fake stories. I am glad and thank you for having me here,” he said.
Schwadron continues to mentor aspiring writers and blog his opinion and commentaries on www.terryschwadron.wordpress.com. #