Jim LehrerJim Lehrer, (1934-2020) American journalist, novelist, screenwriter, playwright

Jim Lehrer Quote

“I practice journalism in accordance with the following guidelines:
• Do nothing I cannot defend.
• Do not distort, lie, slant or hype.
• Do not falsify facts or make up quotes.
• Cover, write and present every story with the care I would want if the story were about me.
• Assume there is at least one other side or version to every story.
• Assume the viewer is as smart and caring and good a person as I am.
• Assume the same about all people on whom I report.
• Assume everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
• Assume personal lives are a private matter until a legitimate turn in the story mandates otherwise.
• Carefully separate opinion and analysis from straight news stories and clearly label it as such.
• Do not use anonymous sources or blind quotes except on rare and monumental occasions. No one should ever be allowed to attack another anonymously.
• Do not broadcast profanity or the end result of violence unless it is an integral and necessary part of the story and/or crucial to its understanding.
• Acknowledge that objectivity may be impossible but fairness never is.
• Journalists who are reckless with facts and reputations should be disciplined by their employers.
• My viewers have a right to know what principles guide my work and the process I use in their practice.
• I am not in the entertainment business. ”

Jim LehrerJim Lehrer
~ Jim Lehrer

THE 1997 CATTO REPORT ON JOURNALISM AND SOCIETY, Jim Lehrer’s Rules of Journalism

Ratings and Comments

cal, Lewisville

Freedom of the press means the freedom to inform-not persuade.  Facts-not opinions. A half truth is a total lie.

Mike, Norwalk

If journalism were limited and defined as Lehrer's here depiction, the entertainment business has completely replaced cal's above, to the point, press description.

Steve Hambling, Aylmer, Quebec

A great man, a great journalist, for all those reasons.

E Archer, NYC

Hear, hear!  That's what we thought journalists were doing, but it has been fake news for a long time now.


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