Posted by: Tony Brown | October 18, 2010

Three things I feel are the most important of the "100 Things a Reporter Should Not Do

The Golden Rule should be first and foremost in everybody’s rule book so why can’t we follow it. As a reporter, in any aspect we have a longer list of rules that must be followed, that is unless your a tabloid reporter.

Here are my top three picks from Poynter’s “100 Things a Reporter Should Not Do.”

#1. Journalists should never stop learning. Even 15 minutes a day helps; learn a new skill or sharpen an old one.

Confucius says,”I am not one who was born in the possession of knowledge; I am one who is fond of antiquity, and earnest in seeking it there”. In journalism, seeking knowledge and truth is paramount in writing the story. There is always something you can learn from others no matter how young or old they may be. Knowledge is golden.

#2. Journalists should be active community members. If you aren’t of the people, you aren’t by the people or for the people.

Benjamin Franklin was an inventor, a scientist, a signer of the constitution and a printer and publisher. Franklin founded the Pennsylvania Gazette in 1728 and in 1732 began the publication of Poor Richard’s Almanac. Franklin set the bar high for a journalist as he was for the people and extremely active in his community and his country.

Report the news and you become part of something different but something that helped establish this the United States of America.

#3. Journalists should know when stories are best told using words, photos, graphics, video, audio, data or a combination.

What impact does the words on a page give a story? Now couple those words with a photo and your reader is held captive by an image that they will never forget. An example of this is a simple photos taken in 1963 of a young boy saluting his father’s casket; that boy was John F. Kennedy, Jr.

September 11, 2001 photos of the World Trade Center attack where all over the front pages of newspapers all over the world, not to mention video of the attack by news agency’s and amateur photographers and videographers. This was an event that changed the lives of many americans and those images tell the story.

This is my opinion but I know that there are many people that would agree with me. Remember to do the right thing and don’t be evil. Tell the story!


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