Jim Lehrer’s Guide to Doing Good Journalism

In 2009, Michael Getler of PBS posted these as Jim Lehrer’s guide to doing good journalism:

Do nothing I cannot defend.

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 as caring and as good a person as I am.

Assume the same about all people on whom I report.

Assume personal lives are a private matter, until a legitimate turn in the story absolutely mandates otherwise.

Carefully separate opinion and analysis from straight news stories, and clearly label everything.

Do not use anonymous sources or blind quotes, except on rare and monumental occasions.

No one should ever be allowed to attack another anonymously.

And, finally, I am not in the entertainment business.

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