"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 Lehrer
(1934-2020) American journalist, novelist, screenwriter, playwright
THE 1997 CATTO REPORT ON JOURNALISM AND SOCIETY, Jim Lehrer’s Rules of Journalism
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Reader comments about this quote:
Freedom of the press means the freedom to inform-not persuade.  Facts-not opinions. A half truth is a total lie.
 -- cal, Lewisville     
  • 4
    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.

     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 1

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

     -- Steve Hambling, Aylmer, Quebec     
  • 1
    Hear, hear!  That's what we thought journalists were doing, but it has been fake news for a long time now.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 1
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