Nick Gholson

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What you want, Baby I got; What you need. Do you know I got it?

November 10, 2006

I woke up this morning feeling a whole lot more ethical than I did yesterday.
In fact, I am one ethical guy.
I am overflowing with ethicticity.

You need compassion? I’ve got it.

Courage? I’m one courageous fellow.

Excellence? Did you ever doubt?

Fairness? You bet.

Integrity? I’m your guy.

Respect? R-e-s-p-e-c-t -- Find out what it means to me. R-e-s-p-e-c-t -- Take are TCB. Sock it to me, Sock it to me. Sock it to me.

Those five things are the Code of Ethics for the E.W. Scripps Company.
And I am one company guy.
When E.W. talks, I listen.

So I sat through a three-hour ethics presentation Thursday and walked out the door singing:
“Glory, glory, hallelujah,
“His truth is marching on.?

Sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me.

In all seriousness, every company needs a Code of Ethics -- and this newspaper business certainly does.
I am worked up close and personal with some of the most unethical people to ever have a byline.
When you underpay talented people -- like the newspaper business always has -- those people are going to be tempted into taking dollar bills under the table.

And then there are the Jason Blairs of the world.
But don’t think plagiarism and lying only happens in the New York Times.
I can remember when it happened big time here at the Wichita Falls Times.

The paper sent a reporter -- a graduate of the University of Texas school of journalism -- to Paris, Texas, to cover a big tornado.
He came back, put his byline on an Associated Press story, and handed it in.
He didn’t even re-write the lead paragraph.
It was his last day on the job.

I am glad that my company stresses ethics.
It spends lots of money putting together presentations like I sat through yesterday.

But truth is all we really needed was to write the Golden Rule on a chalkboard.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
That’s an ethics course in 11 words.

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