Journalism caught in Williams’ lie

EDITORIAL

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The real victims of the Brian Williams scandal are journalists that work hard everyday to produce their work, which is quite concerning for student journalists, like those working on The Stampede staff.

Brian Williams, who works for NBC, has been an extremely successful journalist and news anchor for years, and his publicity stunt has ruined the reputations of current and future journalists.

Our biggest fear is that the public that listens to reporters and reads articles will now be skeptical of the credibility of the work journalists produce. It has ruined in some aspects the perception and credibility of the profession.

Williams’ big lie involves his first visit to Iraq in 2003. He was in a U.S. Army helicopter in northern Iraq. A chopper an hour ahead of his was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. When that aircraft was located, Williams interviewed the crew and filed a report for NBC News.

However, this was not how his story played out. Years after the incident, he began embellishing the story during interviews and appearances, stating that he was in fact in the helicopter that was struck under enemy fire. This is where he gets caught in his lie that has led to the embarrassment of aspiring journalists like us.

There is no doubt that the fear of untruthful reporting is in play for long run, especially in an industry that was founded on reporting the truth. But nothing was done about it.

Nothing was done because the entire foundation of journalism has crumbled because credibility has declined over time.

A lie in journalism is the career shattering event that leads to your ultimate decline, and is extremely hard to recover from.

Williams has been placed on a six month suspension without pay, but we question whether or not the punishment is harsh enough. We find his actions to be despicable. A professional like him acts as the leading example and front man to journalists, and he has proved to be a bad example.

We refuse to accept the label that Williams has now given journalists. The scandal is purely embarrassing.

    He should serve as an example to journalism students. Not as a positive model like he once was, but as a person who demonstrated a tremendous mistake that ruins the integrity of journalists and the media in the eyes of the American public.

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