Did you know there's a multi-point code of ethics in journalism?
Fox News sent a reporter to Bennington, Vermont, for a segment on liberal bias in the media.
Bad idea, Fox. Because some kids at the local high school were learning about ethics in journalism. They decided to compare your practices to the code of ethics for the Society of Professional Journalists.
Fox News did not ace this test. :(
The teens found all manner of problems.
For one thing, Fox only interviewed a half-dozen people, all of them 17-24 years old. Can a few young people in one small township stand in for all of Vermont?
And then there are the leading questions, the unrelated clips designed to sway the viewer's opinion, the manipulative graphics, the crazy sound effects.
The teen journalists discover a general lack of objectivity.
The reporter even asks an interview subject whether she'd like to apologize for electing Obama.
None of the sources are identified. The interviewer, Jesse Watters, describes one as "a drifter." But since we don't know who he means, there's no way to find out whether that's true (or, as one of the students points out, whether he's even a Vermonter).
Fox also throws around some totally incorrect "facts."
Stuff like Bennington College "is one of the biggest liberal arts schools in the country" (it's not even in the top 20!), and Vermont has "high taxes" (they're actually #7 in the nation).
It must be embarrassing to get fact-checked by a bunch of teenagers.
The teens also take Fox to task for using a "mean-spirited" approach to interviewing young and inexperienced subjects.
Their ultimate conclusion? Fox News isn't doing journalism. It's doing propaganda.
Their big question for Fox News is:
Can you commit to raising the bar by sticking to high standards and the code of ethics of journalism?
(Note: Before y'all start spewing the haterade, the same group also took The New York Times to task. This isn't about liberal vs. conservative — it's about standards.) (And teens being awesome.)
And yes, we know that Fox News is sort of an entertainment/editorial/commentary channel, rather than newsy news, but ... I mean, it's Fox *News*, so maybe they could aim for at least a C+ for journalistic ethics?