industry news

Audio ethics

An interesting ethical question came up this morning when one of our reporters interviewed the university president. The reporter used a digital voice recorder, and of course asked permission to record the interview. At the end, he asked the president if he minded the Northern Star putting part of the interview online as an audio file. The president declined, and said he would have spoken differently had he known the interview might be put on the Web.

So the question is, are “print” reporters legally or ethically obligated to tell a source exactly how an audio recording might be used? My gut reaction is yes, ethically, because we’re still at a stage in journalism where if a reporter is not from a TV station or radio station, sources expect to see only a print version of the story. I’m interested in hearing other thoughts on this, though.