He read them tonight, the final night of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, which on Monday becomes the PBS NewsHour:
Do nothing I cannot defend.I found these guidelines online in a 2007 commencement address Lehrer gave at Wesleyan University. I’m imagining him reading these guidelines not to college graduates but to fellow journalists. They are for the most part not listening. But I’m looking forward to seeing Jim Lehrer on television again on Monday night.
Cover, write and present every story with the care I would want if the story were about me.
Assume there is at least one other side or version to every story.
Assume the viewer is as smart and as caring and as good a person as I am.
Assume the same about all people on whom I report.
Assume personal lives are a private matter until a legitimate turn in the story absolutely mandates otherwise.
Carefully separate opinion and analysis from straight news stories and clearly label everything.
Do not use anonymous sources or blind quotes except on rare and monumental occasions. No one should ever be allowed to attack another anonymously.
I am not in the entertainment business.
A related post
Jim Lehrer's Post-it Notes
More on the PBS NewsHour
Launching the PBS NewsHour (PBS)
Stressing the Web, NewsHour Begins an Overhaul (New York Times)