Nancy Durham is a freelance video journalist for CBC, cable news, and British
Channel 4, to name a few. Her journalistic objective is to “make viewers care about ordinary
people trapped in wars”. While investigating the Balkan area, she met an 18 year old girl named
Rajmonda that was recovering in a hospital from the trauma of seeing her sister, Quendressa,
killed in a Serb attack. She expressed to Durham how she was thinking about joining the KLA.
By the request of the news stations, Durham returns to KLA headquarters to do a set of
follow-ups on Rajmonda.
This is how Durham finds that Rajmonda not only lied and was already
a member of the KLA before she met the reporter, but her sister is in fact alive and well. Nancy
Durham’s story had been reported in three different countries and more than once. How could
she effectively remain a credible journalist while still holding her vow to help those “trapped in
war”? Should Nancy run(ignore the fact that her story is false) or should she stay and face it?
See Nancy run. Nancy Durham can now be accused of deceiving the public and
fabricating the facts, even if it was mainly Rajmonda’s abuse of the publicity she granted to her.
She has a duty as a journalist to “truth in reporting”, which defines the lack of accuracy and
research in her depiction of war in the Balkan area. Nancy Durham could completely ignore the
mistakes she made in hopes that it would fall out of the news.
But then she would be constantly
worried that interested news stations would appoint another journalist to follow-up on her story,
hence, exposing her inaccuracies. See Nancy fall. Her fleeing of the dilemma, could be the very
thing that signifies her guilt and lack of honesty.
German philosopher Immanuel Kant, a believer in “truth for truth”, would say that the
masses have a right to know that they have been deceived by the journalist’s lack of research and
the lies of the subject involved, regardless of the consequences it may bring. In this case, the
consequences are Nancy Durham’s reputation, which has been regarded with great respect up
until this point, and the audience’s view of the severity of the war. The audience may lose
sympathy for the people hurt by the war in finding that Rajmonda exaggerated her story to gain
On the other side of the spectrum, teleologist John Stuart Mill, views the consequences as
a vital importance if it is for the “greater good”.
The consequences in this situation, being lack of
support for a worthy cause, could do damage to many of the families living with the war. They
would not be considered reputable and their pain and suffering would therefore be undermined by
the lies of one KLA solider. Mill’s goal would be to minimize harm for the larger number of
people, which is, in the end, these families.
In weighing what your decision would be if enthralled in this dilemma, a good view to
consider would be that of ethicist Sessila Bok. She believes that although truthfulness does not
make a lie right, it may have been necessary in certain situations. For example, Rajomonda may
have not lost her sister in the war, but in fact, she witnessed many people lose family members.
She saw their pain and they became her “family”, as she states in one encounter with Durham.
She had the opportunity to tell their stories and possibly gain support for them, so she took the
chance that had been given to her. She took this opening for the good of her country. Ultimately,
ethicist Bok believes that every reporter should be given the chance to speak their side of the
story and justify why they themselves or their subjects may have stretched the truth.
As integrity is important in any profession, it is essential in journalism. Nancy Durham
must admit her work was not properly researched.
By referring to the three principles involved
with the conflicts of interest, she must realize that she did not avoid this conflict by adequately
investigating her sources, so in turn, she must acknowledge her wrongdoing and make an effort to
Being a supporter of compromise, the best way to come to a conclusion to this
predicament is to encompass Aristotle’s Golden Mean theory. This advises that the answer “lies
between the extremes”. I f she ignores .