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3 Things Journalists Just Don’t Do

3 Dec

My short time as a journalist has been no cakewalk and anyone trying to track down a good story knows the struggle I’m referring to.  As journalists, we have an idea of the story we want to write and then plan out our interviews by the minute. We sketch out every question we need to […]

Getting the Whole Truth

3 Dec

As the fall semester is coming to an end at West Virginia University, in class we were asked to talk to a professional journalist on an ethical dilemma they have faced in their career. I got to learn a few things, personal and ethical, from someone very talented and passionate about their work. Errin Whack, […]

A victim by any other name

3 Dec

When a victim calls The Charleston Gazette-Mail newsroom, editors know exactly who to hand the phone to: Erin Beck, a West Virginia University alumna. She might be one of the youngest in the newsroom, but you wouldn’t know that from meeting her. “I try to take the victim’s perspective whenever I write about crime,” she […]

Stand up for what you believe

3 Dec

In an attempt to prepare for the fast-approaching real world, I had the opportunity to talk to West Virginia University Extension Service Writer and Editor Brittany Dick about what I should be prepared for in a future journalistic job.  She spouted off basic advice: meet deadlines, always fact-check, try to maintain a good work-life balance, […]

Impartial Reporting

28 Apr

As a professional journalist, there is no escaping the many various ethical dilemmas that often arise in the business. I spoke with a journalist from my hometown, Ethan Rothstein, a writer for, which is a news site that provides up to the minute local coverage of breaking news in Arlington, Virginia and the surrounding area. […]

Is it ok to disclose a victim’s name?

28 Apr

As journalists, our main goal is to put accurate and timely news out to the public. In many cases, the news deals with sensitive subjects. It’s important that the public knows about these issues, but where do we draw the line on what is ethical to include in a story? In 2011, Courtney Clark was […]

The Balancing Act of Ethics

28 Apr

Journalists face ethical dilemmas on their day-to-day routine. Amelia Ferrell, a reporter and producer for WOWK 13 News in Charleston, WV said that she most frequently deals with the possible issue of harming someone’s reputation. She said that she often uses tips from law enforcement and public servants to confirm breaking news but reporting ethically […]

Source or friend, where to draw the line?

28 Apr

Good journalism is rarely done without good sources. Sources are a journalist’s lifeline, and it’s easy and natural for a journalist to empathize with his or her sources on a personal level. But as a journalist’s first obligation is always to the truth, one can never get too close to a source, or risk personal […]

Unintended victims left in the aftermath

27 Apr

by Paige Czyzewski It’s raining lightly as I sit outside the bookstore on my laptop waiting. Focusing on the work in front of me, I absentmindedly wave to classmates who call my name when they walk by. I’m too consumed to fully look up, but my eyes rise once I notice a figure has steadily […]