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It’s being talked about on sports radio this morning. I heard it on “Mike and Mike” as I drove to school today. My husband and I actually discussed it last night. The big question is, what is ethical in journalism?

In case you haven’t heard yet, there’s been a discussion about what is considered ethical in reporting. Yesterday, news stories were being posted and tweeted in regards to the starting pitcher for the Kansas City Royals, Edinson Volquez’s father passing away before the start of Game 1 of the World Series. Now currently there are conflicting reports as to whether or not Volquez was told about his father before the start of the game. But for the sake of this post, we are going to go with the assumption that Volquez was not told before he took the mound.

According to some reports, the family of Volquez had requested that he not be informed of the news before the game.

“We found out about it before the game and the wishes of the family was, you know, let Eddie pitch,” Yost explained

 

Source: NBC News

My thought is that they were wanting to spare him the grief before taking the mound for one of the biggest games that he could play in. This, I think, is completely understandable. However, someone (I’m assuming it originated in the Dominican Republic) tweeted out the news that Volquez’s father had died.

By about 30 minutes before the start of the game, news sources were tweeting out their stories on the topic. Here is where the question of ethics comes in. When is it okay to report on sensitive information? Should the media have respected the family’s wishes and held their story until the end of the game? How do reporters, and even fans, know that Volquez wouldn’t have found out before he had a chance to speak with his family? There are coaches and players who do have the opportunity to check social media, so how do we know that even if Volquez himself wasn’t checking, that a member of the team might not have unknowingly offered his/her condolences?

The Society of Professional Journalists gives their code of ethics. Within the code is a portion that states to “Minimize Harm.” Within the code it reads:

Journalists should:

Balance the public’s need for information against potential harm or discomfort. Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance or undue intrusiveness.

So did we, as the social media and the media violate this rule or idea? Leave me your thoughts below.

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