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PAGE 8 — THE DECREE — MARCH 29,2002
appears at Wesleyan Our goal.
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Holcl us to it
(Continued from Front Page)
about foods brought into this
country from others; (Smiling at
the memory) “Do you know some
of the new ones? Anchovies, va
nilla beans, most elegant French
wines — lovely! In fact, I
smuggled some long-grain white
rice into our country myself, in
the lining of my coat, from Italy,
where the penalty for such an ac
tion is death.”
After lengthy discussions of
his decision on the Louisiana Pur
chase and his love-hate relation
ship with James Madison, Mr.
Jefferson was asked, “Do you still
feel the Electoral College is a
good idea?” His answer here: “It
is, perhaps, a blot on our Consti
tution” and “may lead to factions
in the College itself.”
He did, however, believe that
“property owners and those who
have served in war for our coun
try” should be allowed to vote
and that their vote should be ex
panded to have more weight in
the election process.
On the issue of our ever hav
ing a standing army, Mr. Jefferson
replied: “No, never. It may be
come an industry in itself and may
even provoke other nations.”
On the extent to which “the
pursuit of happiness” should be
the government’s responsibility:
“Only in matters of war, natural
disasters, and education.... An
educated citizenry is always the
best and the most responsible for
itself. Kings, priests, noblemen
will rise to great power amongst
us if all are not educated.”
On the need for the Bill of
Rights: “It allows for historical
change. The ‘voice of the people’
should be all of us, today. The
dead hold no power over us; each
generation must make its own
way. The Bill of Rights ensures
that each generation will be al
lowed to do that.”
On Benjamin Banneker: “I do
not know him personally. He sim
ply sent me his book and took
task with mine. As I said in a
letter to Henri Gregor on 25th
February 1809, ‘look to the fu
ture’ for evidence of blacks to
When the “press conference”
ended, Ripley and Barker moved
out of their respective characters
as reporter and ex-President and
Barker spoke to the audience,
which included several theater
majors, about Jefferson himself
and the technical aspects of his
role as historical interpreter.
Jefferson’s strength. Barker
said, was and is his ability to state
“lofty ideas in simple terms; the
Declaration is written to be read.”
The patterns of writing and
speech during the late eighteenth
century are, however, difficult for
many audiences aow to under
stand and accept. As Barker said,
persons then used more words to
express a particular point, were
less disjointed” in their speech,
referred continually to what had
been said before, gave many ex
amples and extensive descriptions
— they believed above all in the
art of discourse, in all situations
except perhaps inside the family
or with very close friends.
Jefferson’s influence extends
to our own generation because.
Barker noted, his views are al
ways relevant; he had a “com
mon sense” that “confirms what
you always had in mind”; he was
a classicist who sees through
millennia.” As Jefferson said him
self, the Declaration of Indepen
dence had “not one new thought”
but was a composite of the ideas
of others — Aristotle, Cicero,
Locke, Sidney — who were
known well by all educated per
Although historical interpret
ers like Barker are in demand now
by museums, schools, and living-
history exhibits, the field does not
yet have an academic training
ground. Colonial Williamsburg is
considering opening such a
Near the end of the evening,
Ripley asked Barker, “As a his
torical interpreter, what do you
want to have done?” Barker an
swered: “To provoke — as an
actor, a teacher, a journalist.”
Whet’smm tke SS£7
(SI), Tutering, VSJ
TH« SSC is her* j»rf
Sityderftj ti>i ^v^hping ami
Code of Ethics
Seek Ti*uth and Report It
Journalists should be honest, fair and courageous
in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.
► list ihc KcuniQ' of iiifonnaiioii from all sources and exercise caie lo avoid inadveilent
eriw; Deli!)erate dislortion is never pemiissible.
► Diliseiitly seek out subjects of new stones to give them the opponunily to re^iond to
► identity- sources ivhaBer iKisible, The public is entidd to as much infoiraation as
possible oil .soum' rellabilir\'.
► a1» ;ib (luesiKiii sources' motive; Wore promising ajionymity. Clarily conditions
:iit;ichai lo any proiiiise made in exchange for infonnatlon. Keep promises.
► Make certain that lieadlines, news teases and promotional material, photos, video,
audio, graphics, .sound bites and quotations do not misTfpissent, They shouM not'
in eismplili- or highlight incidents out of conle.';!.
► .Merer distort the conieni of ne«5 photos or video. Image enhancement
ioi technical clarm' is always pemiissible. Label montages and photo illustrations.
► ,A\ i)id misleading le-enactments or staged news events.
Il re-enactment is necessaiy to tell a stoii; label it.
► Avoid undercoi'er or othersum^litious methods of gathering iiifomiation
e\cq)t ulien Iraditional open methods will not yield infoimation vital to the pubhc.
1K of such raediods should be e.xplained as part of tlie story.
► Nevvr plagiarize
► Tell the stoiy of the divensity :ind magnitude of die human e.xperience boldly;
wen when it is unpopular to do so.
► lixannne their own cultural values and avoid imposing
► .'told steiwtiping by race, gender age. religion, ethnicity, geography,
Si'Xual oi'ientation. disability, physical appearance or social status.
► Sup|xin the oiieii exchange of views, even vieus they find iqiugnant.
► law voice to the voiceliss: official and unofficial sources of Inlbtmadon
can be njualh'valid
► Disiiiiguish beweeii advocao' and nas reporting.
.•\nalisis and coninientary^ should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context.
► Oistmguish iiesa from advertising and shun hybrids that blur
the lines liefween Ihe two
► lieci ignize a special obligation to ensure that die public's business is conducted in tlie
ii|Mi and that government recoids are open lo inspection.
Ethical journalists treat sources, subjects and
colleagues as human beings deserving of respect.
► Show compassion for those who may be affeaed adwrsely by news coverage L'se
special sensitivity when dealing with chiten and inexperienced sources or subjects,
► Be sensitive wlien seeking or using interviews or photograplis of tlicse
affected by tragedy or grief
► Recognize that gathering and rsporting information may cause hami or discomfort.
Pursuit of the news is not a hcense for anogance.
► Recognize that private people hare a greater right to control infomiation about
themselves than do public officials and otheis who seek povw? influence or attention.
Only an overriding pubik: need can justily intnision into anyone's privacy.
► Show good taste. Avoid pandering (o lurid curicsity
► Be autious about klentifying juvenile suspects or victims of sex crimes
► Be judicious about naming criminal su^ befote the fomial fling of charges.
► Balance a criminal suspect's fair trial rights with the public's right to be informed.
Journalists should be free of obligation to any
interest other than the public's right to know,
► Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived,
► Rfftiain free of associations and activities that may cojnpromise integritv
or damage credibility
► Reftise gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special tieatment, and shun secondary
employment, political involvement, public office and service in community
organizations if diey compromise joumalislic integrity.
k. ij.Li fi..,.
► Be wary’ of sources offering infomiation for fawDs or money; avoid bkWing for news
Journalists are accountable to their readers listeners
viewers and each other.
► Clarify and eiqilain news coverage and invite dialogue with the public
over loumalistic conduct.
► Encourage the public to voice grievances against the news media.
► .^dmit mistakes and coma them promptly
► Exptse unethical practices of joumalists and tlie news media.
► Abide by the same high standards to which they hold otheis.
Mgina IMia ciii s l,«i Code ol Ethics was borrowed from the American Soday of Newspaper Editors in 1926 In ^ ; a
Aiming for the highest stsndatd