The dilemmas we face: how young journalists draw ethical red lines, FASPE Journalism

(photo credit: Jessica Davey-Quantick)

This story began when an elderly woman with dementia wandered onto a busy highway in the middle of the night in July 2014 and was killed by a hit-and-run driver. Police found her lifeless body in the morning and notified the family. Her children and grandchildren were devastated. Officers began searching for the driver across Toronto.

I was the journalist assigned to cover her story for one of Canada’s largest mainstream media outlets, an organization I had been working at for just three months. My editor was adamant that speaking to the woman’s family was top priority, so I immediately called the police to see if the family wanted to talk with me. They didn’t, an officer told me, at least for now. They were grieving and wanted privacy. I assured him I understood—but my editor did not. Read more…