Views of the News: Ethics Questions Arise After Firing of Public Radio Reporter

Apr 9, 2017

A reporter for University of Tennessee-Chattanooga’s public radio station, WUTC-FM, was fired after the university said she violated ethics standards. At a meeting addressing Tennessee’s transgender bathroom bill, lawmakers said they had no way of knowing a reporter was present, as Jacqui Helbert did not announce herself as a journalist. Helbert said she was wearing a lanyard with press credentials and carrying a shotgun mic, a recording device and a bag with the station’s logo.

Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean discuss the motivation for Helbert’s firing and what it means for other public radio stations with university ties on the weekly media criticism program “Views of the News."

"Should she have identified herself as a reporter verbally if she was in a meeting that was quasi-private? Probably, she should have. Would it have made any difference, though? I don't think so. I think the problem was that the legislatures were upset with the story she actually produced." -Mike McKean

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