Brian Williams

During the Iraq war, Brian Williams reported that he was in a helicopter that he claims was shot down while in the air. His story changed years later and the media immediately became curious and it spurred curiosity into his other stories. The media is now finding out that a lot of Williams other stories were also fabricated and embellished which is a huge breach of the journalistic code of ethics considering he was a very trusted reporter.

Williams clearly violated the first part of the code where it calls journalist to seek truth and report the truth. His foggy recollection of his experience in the Iraq war misled the public and got in the way with his obligation as a journalist. The fact that he made up these stories turning them into “war stories” as Jon Stewart calls it, also qualifies him for violating the part in the code that says journalists should “act independently.” I think that he is also violating this because he didn’t have the interest of the public in mind and he was making it more about himself and the things he saw. This also violates the part of this code where it says that journalists should not accept gifts or anything of that sort because he went on the Letterman show to recount his “war story.” I think this was a step forward in his pursuit of becoming more of a celebrity figure on top of being a trusted reporter. This appearance ironically was his downfall because his recounting was different than the other times he has reported it. In the end, I think William’s hunger for the celebrity status hurt him because it interfered with his moral obligation as a journalist. Williams story should be a warning to all journalists because it seems as if once you breach the code, you will eventually be caught because people are always seeking the truth.

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