[DFT] Fw: [ChivalryToday] Reporting on Faith

Seanan seanan at elfsea.net
Fri Mar 26 05:33:20 PST 2004

Reporting on Faith
By Scott Farrell
©2004, Shining Armor Enterprises

Events of the past week have caused a lot of professionals to focus on
a little-discussed by critically important business asset: faith.
Perhaps this is a good time to reflect on the need for chivalry,
honesty and knightly behavior in the workplace.

Last week, the newspaper USA Today announced that Jack Kelly, one of
its most respected journalists - a reporter whose work was nominated
for a Pulitzer Prize - had falsified facts in several stories he wrote
for the paper. His dishonesty shocked editors, colleagues and readers

In short, Mr. Kelly broke faith with people who had placed their trust
in him.

This report might have been less shocking had it been an isolated
incident, but the details were surprisingly reminiscent of the case of
Jayson Blair, a New York Times reporter who, last year, was caught
plagiarizing other stories and falsifying facts in his own work.

Of course, these two reporters are both out of work now, and will
probably never write another news story; it would be easy to think that
their punishment is that they got their just deserts. But the effects
of these two cases demonstrate that dishonesty goes much further than a
single person:

. Several top executives at the New York Times resigned or were
dismissed along with Mr. Blair due to their suspected complicity in the

. The staff at USA Today is now undergoing an intensive audit to see if
the editors encouraged shoddy journalism practices.

. The Tallahassee Democrat reports that other newspapers, from the San
Francisco Chronicle to the Orlando Sentinel, are investigating their
own editorial departments - and are discovering similar breaches of the
standards of ethical journalism.

. Advertising revenue at the New York Times took a significant drop in
the past year, and a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center reveals
that the number of Americans who distrust news reports has risen from
13 percent to 67 percent.

The faithlessness of two people has had a profound and measurable
effect on an entire industry.

Ironically, journalists are often characterized with a title that comes
from the days of knights in shining armor. Reporters who uncover
corruption or fight for the public good are called "crusaders." The air
of public outrage surrounding these two faithless crusaders is a good
indication of how much value honesty and integrity still have in
today's world. From Mr. Blair and Mr. Kelly, we can all learn a lesson
in the importance of the Code of Chivalry in the realm of business.

Of course, we all want to think that the people charged with "reporting
the truth" are trustworthy - but do the rest of us "workin' stiffs"
really need to adhere to that level of truthfulness? Maybe you make a
living as a salesperson, a waitress or a computer programmer, and
you're thinking that faith has no real value in your line of business.
Commerce isn't reliant on honesty, is it?

It's certainly possible to be a liar and still get your job done. Yet,
in the restaurant world, the table staff works more efficiently if they
have faith that their fellow waitresses aren't pilfering their tips. On
the sales floor, customers are more willing to open their wallets if
they feel they can trust the guarantees of the salesperson who is
showing them a item of merchandise. The executives at a software
company can spend more time expanding their business and developing new
applications if they have confidence that their programmers are writing
original lines of code, not just plagiarizing them from another product.

The reality of the situation is this: You don't have to be an
internationally famous reporter to benefit from following a path of
honesty and integrity in your workplace. Faith and trust are the
foundations of every business.

Steven Davis, chair of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public
Communications, quoted in the Daily Orange, summed up the situation
very well: "Once you're guilty (of lying), every piece of work you've
ever done is called into question." That's true no matter what industry
you're in, what company you work for, or what title you hold.

The value of faith (and, in this instance, the devastating cost of its
loss) is a prime example of the importance of the Code of Chivalry in
the world of business.

= = = = = = = = = =

NOW AVAILABLE: Scott Farrell's audio presentation, "Bringing Chivalry
to Life."
This 50-minute CD brings the principles of chivalry and the Seven
Knightly Virtues into the modern world through a variety of historical
quotes (from authors like Geoffroi de Charny, Imad ad-Din and Howard
Pyle) and contemporary observations. Audio tracks include:
- The Modern Melee
- Like Unto King Arthur
- The Knight Manager
- The Mission of Knighthood
Plus six other discussions on the value of Chivalry Today. Order your
copy of this CD at the "Catalog" section of the Chivalry Store - in the
left-hand navigation bar at www.ChivalryToday.com

= = = = = = = = = =

THIS JUST IN at the Chivalry Today website:
- An essay examining the place of the Code of Chivalry in (no, this
isn't a typo) the legal profession.
- A fascinating article about female warriors called "The Shieldmaiden."
- Discover the benefits of mercy in Dr. Brian L. Seaward's article,
"Sweet Forgiveness."
- Plus, new "Chivalry in Other Words" entries at www.ChivalryToday.com

= = = = = = = = = =

Readers are permitted and encouraged to share this article with others
as a way of furthering the understanding of the Code of Chivalry in the
modern world. Scott Farrell's seminars on chivalry and the knightly
virtues are available to businesses, schools and civic organizations
throughout the Southern California area; more information can be found
on our website. Please include all copyright statements and
attributions when forwarding Chivalry Today articles. Copyright 2003
Scott Farrell and Shining Armor Enterprises. Visit our website at
www.ChivalryToday.com .

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