Editors Notes: Balancing morals within your career

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The other day I was having a conversation with my significant other surrounding morals within your career.

Our discussion made me reflect on what values I uphold within my job and how the decisions I make at work might define me as a person.

As a journalist and — in particular — a news reporter, remaining unbiased and remaining objective despite personal opinions and beliefs is essential.

Throughout my four years working within the news section of this paper, I’ve never questioned this — after all, being objective is essentially the mandate of journalism.

I’ve written about a plethora of topics and various controversial concepts. I’ve written about female representation and sexism in the workplace. I’ve written about pro-choice protests and discussed LGBTQ+ rights.

With all of these topics, I’ve never considered or thought twice about reporting on these objectively. But in the wise words of Emily Dickinson: “Saying nothing … sometimes says the most.”

Although my objective reporting upholds journalistic ethics, does remaining objective in certain scenarios uphold my personal morals?

Although I wouldn’t necessarily think that my job as an editor and reporter goes against my morals on a daily basis, it certainly brings the topic of morals and ethics into question on a frequent basis.

But in thinking about morals and careers, there are so many jobs that put those values into question.

What about those working within the tobacco industry? Insurance companies who profit off of accidents? Companies that pollute the environment to operate?

Jobs and careers can be immoral on a multitude of levels. To me, I believe it’s how you deal with the situation or career you’re in that makes or breaks your ability to remain true to your morals when in a career that puts ethics into question.

For example, I believe that using this platform I’ve been given to make some sort of positive change is the reason this job is so meaningful to me.

It’s tricky and challenging and not always easy to remain objective when discussing topics that are close to me or when writing about subjects for which I have strong feelings.

For me, the most meaningful stories I’ve written have been topics surrounding marginalized voices and publicizing their experiences.

In this way, my job may present a challenging moral compass — however, it also presents an opportunity to use this platform to do good and to give voices to people who may otherwise may not have them while remaining objective myself.

Although I have remained objective on topics important to me, I think that the morals my job requires me to uphold doesn’t necessarily define my personal values and, with that, acquiring a job which presents a moral challenge ultimately presents an opportunity to make positive change.

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