Ethics Crisis Blog is baaaaack!
Ethics – corporate, government, personal – are too important for us not to bring back Ethics Crisis Blog. I created this blog in 2004 – pre-Twitter, pre-Facebook wall posts – for a client who’s since moved into another business.
I never took Ethics Crisis Blog down because people kept voting on the confessions, and it soon became apparent that you’d probably have to be a mass murderer for people to collectively condemn your unethical behavior.
So, here we are in the most ethics-challenged era, perhaps ever, and I figure people might like a friendly place to ANONYMOUSLY (really, I don’t know who the confessors are) confess their ethics transgressions so the rest of us can sit in judgment. :>)
Journalism Students Accused of Cheating on Ethics Exam
Cheating on an ethics exam? It sounds like the setup for a joke. But a group of grad students at Columbia University’s journalism school are suspected of having done just that, according to the blog, Radar Online
Hey, at least the New York Times credited Radar Online as its source. Now that’s pretty ethical.
The Ethics of Metaverse Journalism
Wagner James Au, publisher of Second World Notes, the Second Life newspaper, is making a “my willy nilly effort to come up with a workable ethics for reporting in the metaverse.”
He questions whether reporting on recent grid attacks that have brought down the world gives the attackers an award by giving them publicity. He writes: “Attentive readers may be inclined to see parallels to conundrums from real world journalism– for example, when the media gives prominent coverage to a minor terrorist attack, are they just reporting the news, or unintentionally becoming an abettor after the fact, while unnecessarily alarming the public?”
University Launches Online Journalism Ethics Analysis
The School of Journalism of Universidad Diego Portales in Santiago de Chile has launched a new online service about Journalism Ethics Analysis, (in Spanish).
Users can submit questions about journalism ethics issues. A group of teachers analyzes it and publishes the answer on the site. Some of the latest questions:
* Can you byline a story that doesn’t include field reports from that journalist, but only reports from agencies and Internet?
* How do you distinguish between press notes and informercial notes?
via Juan Carlos Camus at Poynter.org
Ethics, Schmethics! Ask Forgiveness, Not Permission
New York Times technology columnist David Pogue raised an ethical question:
His seven year-old daughter was in a dance recital; the school sells a lousy DVD of the performances; he has a Canon S3 IS digital camera that makes great videos. Could he, ethically, make a surreptitious video highlighting his daughter’s performance.
He put the question to Randy Cohen, writer of the Times’ Ethicist column. Cohen suggested he offer to make a better video for the school. Nearly 90 people commented on the blog, including one who said:
“Ethics, shmethics–It’s easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission.”
So what did Pogue end up doing?
“I wound up illicitly filming a very short clip of my daughter’s number, about 30 seconds, and also I filmed the curtain call. I would have filmed the whole number, but I chickened out.”
Moral Liability is Hidden Threat to Corporations: Fortune
Companies will pay a price if they fail to meet society’s expectation that they act ethically. Merely obeying the law, or following compliance guidelines to the letter is not enough, writes Marc Gunther in Fortune. Companies need to meet their “moral liability” or face bigger threats from customers than from government or courts.
Sometimes the price will be damage to a brand or reputation. Other times, the cost will be more concrete, in the form of lawsuits, damage awards or lost sale,” Gunther says. The good news is that “…all these social issues present opportunities as well as threats… the best way for business to avoid “moral liability” – become part of the solution instead of part of the problem.”
No Wonder There’s An Ethics Crisis in Business
What qualifies one to teach ethics? Do these qualifications for a business ethics professor strike you as just a bit vague?
According to the job announcement the ideal candidate for a professorship in business ethics at Belk College of Business and University of North Carolina will have a Ph.D. in Philosophy, Management, Business Administration, or a related field, and a distinguished research record in business ethics that warrants appointment to an endowed professorship.
Politicians and Policy Wonks Attend Ethics Camp. But No S’mores
Politicians have nothing on Ethics Crisis’ anonymous ethics confessions. That’s why it’s refreshing to read that instead of clipboard and whistles, counselors at Ethics and Leadership Camp for politicians and public officials wore “moral compasses” around their necks, in an effort to create “a culture of ethics and accountability,” according to Judy Nadler, a former mayor of Santa Clara and a senior fellow at the university’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, the host and sponsor.
The New York Times reports that the two dozen or so campers — including local city council members and ethics officers from Texas and Arizona — were “a veritable optimists’ club.”
Dean J. Chu, a council member from nearby Sunnyvale, chose to go to camp “as a continuing reminder of how you should behave.” Mr. Chu added, “Unfortunately, the kind of people attending are not the ones who need to.”
Mark Cuban Shakes Up Investment Ethics With Sharesleuth
Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and seriate entrepreneur has funded a website called sharesleuth, which will focus on “corporate chicanery and securities fraud.” The site will initially have a blog format, then, after it proves its worth, go subscription.
Cuban told BusinessWeek.com in an email that he’ll buy and sell stocks based on scoops the site uncovers, even before they’re published.
“There are a million ugly stories in the financial underground,” he wrote. “We plan on finding and sharing and profiting from them.” He declined to comment further.
Isn’t that insider trading? Didn’t Martha Stewart go to jail for that? Not necessarily.
Japan’s Top Banker Embroiled in Ethics Scandal
Revelations that the Japanese central bank governor, Toshihiko Fukui, owned $90,000 of a stock fund accused in an insider trading scandal have raised an ethics issues for the bank and helped cause not only the biggest sell-off in Tokyo’s stock market since 9/11, but also a political firestorm, according to The New York Times.
A Bank of Japan spokesman, Takashi Yoshimura, denied that there is an ethics issue, saying that the bank’s ethics guidelines only required employees, including Mr. Fukui, to report internally any purchases or sales of stocks, and any profits, and did not limit where they could invest their money.
In the most understated comment of the year, Mr. Fukui apologized during a meeting of Cabinet members. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I have created a fuss.”
“At the very least, it is a warning that the bank needs to tighten its ethical standards,” said Naoki Iizuka, chief economist at the Dai-Ichi Life Research Institute.