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    Michelle Solomon

    I think Helen has hit the nail on the head here, but since I am the “dogged journalism student” referred to in this story I feel I must correct her on one point. 

    Yes, there were other newspapers that had the Sunday Times report, and clearly I agree that, in principle, the report should have published. But I also know of at least one other editor that had the report but was obligated not to publish it because of ethical reasons – he was given the report _on condition_ that he does not publish it. I was given the report under the same conditions. Where the editor used the report to inform his practice as an editor – and in so doing ensure the integrity of his newsroom – without pursuing publication, I petitioned the Sunday Times to publish it themselves, and so display accountability. The report has since been published by the Business Day, but the Sunday Times had still not been accountable to their readers, and so self-regulation continues to fail. So, while I agree that journalists must hold each other to account, I also believe that is simply not enough when journalists themselves have no desire to be accountable to the readers and public they serve. 

    As such, I don’t think it fair or right to lob all newspapers – or journalists, for that matter – together in a homogeneous group. There are those that invisibly practice their ethics for even the most minor decisions in their newsroom, and there are those that buried ethics long ago. 
    We must remember this distinction.

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