Jim Lehrer, the renowned journalist, in a 1997 report by the Aspen Institute, outlined the rules for journalists to ensure journalistic integrity. As my colleague Amy Oppenheimer noted, these are outstanding rules for investigators as well. We strive to adhere to these as well.
- Do nothing I cannot defend.
- Do not distort, lie, slant, or hype.
- Do not falsify facts or make up quotes.
- Cover, write and present every story with the care I would want if the story were about me.
- Assume there is at least one other side or version to every story.
- Assume the viewer is as smart and caring and good a person as I am.*
- Assume the same about all people on whom I report.
- Assume everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
- Assume personal lives are a private matter until a legitimate turn in the story mandates otherwise. 1
Taken Kottke, J. (2020, January 24) Jim Lehrer’s Rules of Journalism. Retrieved from https://kottke.org/20/01/jim-lehrers-rules-of-journalism-1