Five Steps to Transparency


The Oxford Dictionary defines news as “an incident or report that is new to the public and not generally known to lay people before its presentation.” According to Gerald W. Johnson, William Stead, and Carrel Warren, news is “a recent occurrence that has a public significance or is unusual for the lay person to know about before it is reported or published.” Furthermore, the British Journal defines news as “any event or information that is of immediate public interest.”

Journalists select stories based on their quality

Despite these efforts, the press is still largely a monopoly over news content, so journalists must carefully consider their choices. There is an endless number of stories that deserve attention, but only a small fraction of them make it to the front page of the newspaper. For instance, a mass demonstration in 2007 received more attention than the same event in 2007. The reason is that the civilians had modern mobile phones and camcorders, and they were able to send instant messages to international news outlets. This study is not exhaustive and should not be the only source for the quality of stories.

While journalists have different definitions of quality, there is no universal standard of what qualifies as news content. Bogart (1981) attempted to codify the concept of quality by developing a quantitative scale to rate print newspaper content. The index included indicators such as the average length of stories, the number of letters to the editor per issue, and even the presence of an astrology column. The metric is also outdated in the digital age. Most web platforms offer metrics to measure readership engagement.

They should be transparent about their sources

How should companies start the transparency journey? The strategy you use will depend on the questions you want answered and the risk profile of your company. Perhaps you want to ensure that your contract manufacturers do not use child labor or want to be clear about where your materials come from. Whatever the case, there are five general steps companies can take to begin their journey toward greater transparency. Here are some of the most common ones. Identify the key issues and prioritize each one.

They should enlighten their audience

Journalists should think of ways to involve the community in their reporting. Consider the best ways to engage the community and ask them for material. It might be helpful to ask them for ideas or even start a conversation. Consider the rewards that they can offer in exchange for their participation. If you can find a way to get more information or pictures from the community, then it’s a win-win situation.

They should be ethical

A journalist should always do their best to avoid violating the principles of journalism. Ethical behavior in newsrooms must be guided by their principles of fairness, accuracy, and integrity. This is especially true when it comes to stories about controversial topics. Newsrooms must respect the rights of readers to know how stories are produced and to challenge erroneous reporting. The first step in ensuring ethical journalism is to avoid cosy relationships with sources. Often, these relationships compromise newsroom independence and violate ethical principles.

The SPJ Code of Ethics outlines the standards of ethical journalism, including a requirement that journalists act impartially, without outside pressure. Despite this, many journalists are still prone to conflicting pressures, resulting in biased coverage. Moreover, many of them have a political agenda and may have a personal stake in the outcome of a story. Hence, the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics provides guidance to journalists on how to make the right decision on which story to report.