5 types of bad journalistic behavior driving PR pros nuts

A former reporter turned PR pro rallies his former industry to rise above the often-common practices tarnishing the media profession.

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In the drive to get a story first, some reporters will ignore rules of conduct and basic journalism. Then there are the ones with not-so-hidden agendas of their own or those pushed by their bosses.

In these cases, it’s perfectly appropriate to close the door and turn off future access. This type of behavior cannot be condoned, and as the media landscape becomes even more frayed, PR professionals need to take a stand against bad behavior.

Trust me, there is not much worse for a reporter or a publication than to have their news sources cut them off. For public companies, this is difficult given disclosure rules, but stanching the information flow will make life difficult for journalists’ with low standards.

Here are some types of bad journalistic behavior:

Lack of journalistic integrity. This one covers the gamut. A good and realistic example is knowingly presenting only part of a story to grab a bigger headline or teaser. I used to tell my reporters the best news story is one that upsets both sides of the story, not just one.

Lack of fairness. This covers one-sided reporting, such as writing about the filing of a suit but not its dismissal, or focusing on the handful detractors of a deal instead of the majority of those in favor.

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