Featured in the Society of Professional Journalists’ Quill Magazine, Deadline Club president Colin DeVries contributed the following to the conversation on redemption for journalists:
I think everyone deserves another chance to make things right, but it is a long road for a journalist to rebuild trust after a complete breakdown in credibility,” said Colin DeVries, president of the Deadline Club, the New York City chapter of SPJ, and a former editor at the New York Daily News and Times-Ledger Newspapers in New York City.
Asked about the concept of writer redemption, DeVries said it’s not easy, but possible.
“Can someone be redeemed? Sure. It’s possible. Look at Brian Williams. He continued to broadcast for years after his extraordinary fall from grace, but he never reached the same height in his career after he lied on air.”
DeVries added that for a writer, restoring trust in an editor can be extremely tough.
“Editors generally want writers they can rely on, not someone who needs extra layers of vetting to ensure accuracy. No one has the time or resources for that these days,” he said, adding that “adhering to a high ethical standard by following the SPJ Code of Ethics not only is fulfilling the promise of what journalism should be, but also setting yourself up for success as someone who can be relied upon to deliver the goods on deadline.”Alan Krawitz