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Reporters Trail Badly (Again) in Annual Poll on Honesty and Ethics
By Greg Mitchell
Published: December 07, 2004 11:00 AM ET
NEW YORK Once again, newspaper reporters score poorly in the annual Gallup Poll, released today, on ?honesty and ethical standards? in various professions, as judged by the American public. They rank even lower than bankers, auto mechanics, elected officials, and nursing-home operators.
To put this in perspective: Newspaper reporters are even less respected than their TV counterparts.
Somehow, however, they top lawyers, car salesmen, and ad directors. And they also edge business executives and congressmen.
Nurses top the list as most honest and ethical.
If there's any good news for newspapers, it's that since 2000, the number of those saying that reporters have high or very high ethical standards has climbed from 16% to 21%. In 2000, reporters were behind even lawyers in that category.
All in all, in the current survey, Gallup found that 5% of the sample gave newspaper journos very high marks for honesty, 16% high, 50% average, and 28% low or very low.
So one positive way to look at it is that 71% said that at least reporters displayed average or above honesty and ethics. Even so, they were way down the list.
At the top, 79% gave nurses high or very high marks. Other categories, in order: grade school teachers, pharmacists, military officers, doctors, police officers, clergy, judges, day-care providers, bankers, auto mechanics, local officeholders, nursing home operators, state officeholders, TV reporters, and then newspaper reporters.
I would like to take this opportunity to say that Dan Blather is a model for honesty and ethics in reporting, he sits on the pinnacle that most reporters strive for. This may explain the mediocre numbers.
-------------------- "In religion and politics people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination." -- Mark Twain
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