When a scholar once discussed with me, he said that it was impractical to speak of the having journalist professionalism in the current environment for journalism in China. I countered by saying that it was not impractical; instead, if you follow your professional rules of conduct, it will often be your best guarantee against the risks. For example, professionalism requires you to seek multiple confirmations for each piece of information and rely as little as possible on single-sourced information, because it will increase the veracity of the investigation.
Professionalism requires us to be objective and balanced and provide a platform for all sides to present their viewpoints. Even if one side is unwilling to make a statement, there has to be other information favorable to them in order to maintain a balance because this will make even those who are criticized accept the reported facts. Professionalism requires that we must have convincing physical evidence, documents and witnesses that adhere to the law, or else the other side will destroy the case. For example, in the aforementioned case, my investigation of the official’s family was based upon corporate registration data and files at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and so nobody could complain. Therefore, I had protected myself and my employer against the risks to a large degree. [Full Text]