Cronkite professor and former CNN anchor Aaron Brown kicks off SABEW’s first Klott Ethics Symposium

Posted By admin on Friday October 25, 2013

By RAFFY ERMAC

PHOENIX- Business journalists from all over the Valley of the Sun, as well as other professionals from all over the country, gathered in Downtown Phoenix on Oct. 24 to attend the first night of the Gary Klott Memorial Ethics Symposium, a two-day event hosted by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

Held in the First Amendment Forum at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the symposium, which aims to spark conversation between journalists about ethics in the everyday field of their careers, was named after Gary Klott, a former SABEW president who made a lasting impression during his lifetime for feverishly promoting a strong ethical code for all business reporters.

The evening kicked off with introductory words from Kristin Gilger, associate dean of the Cronkite School, Warren Watson, SABEW’s executive director, and Marty Wolk, SABEW’s incoming president, and the personal finance editor at MSN Money in Seattle.

“This is a great capstone event to our 50th year,” said Wolk, noting that 2013 is SABEW’s 50th Anniversary year. “It’s great to have this special event with such a strong focus on ethics.”

The symposium was also attended by Klott’s wife, Sandy Duerr, Jill Jorden Spitz, former SABEW president and editor at the Arizona Daily Star, and Cherrelle Wade, a senior at the University of South Carolina and the recipient of SABEW’s David J. Murrow Business Journalism Scholarship.

The veritable highlight of the night though, was a speech made by former CNN anchor and Cronkite School professor Aaron Brown.

In his presentation, Brown made examples of many high-profile news events in modern history (including September 11 and the Virginia Tech shootings) to illustrate that ethical decisions are made on a daily basis by journalists, and how ethics are some of the most important principles to teach every new generation of aspiring reporters.

“Journalism is not for the reckless or the timid,” said Brown, advising the younger journalists in the crowd that there should be a balance between being ethical, and still being an eager reporter. “You got to want the ball.”

 (Raffy Ermac is a journalism major at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism)

 

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