Barbara Walters: Journalistic Ethics or Not?

For the aspiring journalist – – the one who is wide eyed, ready for the world, pen in one hand, and dream in the other a word of advise: you may want to look elsewhere for role models and not mimic those who are star studded, painted in glamour, and are queens of the entertainment world. Yes, I am talking about Ms. Barbara Walters.

Earlier this month, Barbara Walters and Star Jones Reynolds had a public spat. The two shared the spotlight on ABC’s daytime money maker – -The View. Apparently, Star’s contract with ABC was not up for renewal. With this Star would have to find another job. Star was supposed to walk away with dignity. Yet, dignity in TV terms meant make up a story as to why she was leaving the show.

The View
for those who don’t know is a daytime talk show. The show has sustained ten years of television history and is marked by success. Women who gab around a table, drink coffee, discuss life, love, nature, and all – is just a glimpse on what the show has to offer.

No disrespect to Ms. Barbara Walters, but what in the world was she thinking?

Think about this – -Barbara Walters – acclaimed journalist admitted to the world that she was ready to lie and thus, back up Star’s story as to why Star was leaving the cast of The View. When Star announced to the world that her contract was not up for renewal Barbara despised this. So, if Star had decided to tell the world that she in fact, was joining the circus Barbara would have nodded her head and saidâÂ?¦good luck with taming the lions and we will miss you on The View? What is all this entertainment drama, behind the scenes, keep it a secret stuff about?

How many seasoned journalists cringed when they read or heard that Ms. Walters daytime Diva was set to lie on behalf of the soon to be former co-worker? Moreover, how many viewers will still remain faithful to The View following Barbara’s slip of the tongue? Or was it a slip of the tongue? That’s the real question.

Perhaps, the laypeople (those who are not show business savvy) are just ignorant to game. The game may include the need and the RIGHT to lie. How does this relate to ethics in journalism?

First, let’s put things in perspective. Is Barbara Walters an entertainment talk show host and then a journalist? If that is the case, then inform the world of such – then and only then our shock may be nonexistent when Ms. Walters announces she was ready to lie. However, isn’t Barbara Walters supposed to be a journalist FIRST and then an entertainment talk show host SECOND.

Whatever the case may be, someone who is in Barbara Walter’s position should never admit that a lie is justified. Out of all the reporting that Barbara has done doesn’t she know this already? Or does it simply come down to a paycheck?

What is the message that we should learn from the Barbara Walters and Star Jones Reynolds public spat? By the way, when Star did the People Magazine interview and stated that she felt like she was canned, how was this disloyal to Barbara or ABC? Was it wrong for Star to tell the truth? She was canned! Dismissed! Out the door! See you in the next life time! It was like that, plain and simple.

Perhaps it is like this�the POWERS THAT BE are the ones who really call the shots? You know the big wigs who sign off on contracts and sign off on paychecks. Did Barbara fall into the trap? The do as I say do and nothing else trap. Integrity and ethics in journalism stand in the midst of this.

Ms. Barbara Walters, world-renowned journalist has given us the skinny on many hot topics, world issues, politics, and the like. How can we get with the fact that Barbara Walter’s was ready to lie? What else has Barbara lied about? Aspiring journalists need to know that ethics should be ever compromised. Not even when it comes to a hefty paycheck and a contract renewal. Be a journalist FIRST, and then play the money game SECOND. Bottom line.

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