Editorial Page

Code of Ethics – Delegate Carefully

When people talk about “trusting the experts,” what they’re really talking about is delegating decision-making to someone else. Sometimes this makes sense, sometimes it doesn’t, but in all cases … it’s an illusion. Our decisions are always our own, including a decision to follow another person’s lead.

Life is challenging. Anyone telling you it isn’t probably has a bridge to sell you. Parenting, in particular, is extremely challenging, and when parents go searching for ideas, suggestions, or help, they are almost always encouraged to “trust the experts.” Despite the plethora of conflicting advice offered on bookstore shelves, almost all written by “experts.”

What does this have to do with our Code of Ethics, as the Editorial Team of The Vashon Loop? Everything. Of our goals, journalistic ethics is number one, and one of our editors is a card-carrying member of the Society of Professional Journalists. Overall, we are in strong agreement with the SPJ’s Code of Ethics, but a recent email sent out to SPJ members gave us reason to pause.

You see, the concept being expressed in the email actually ran counter to the SPJ’s own Mission Statement. It doesn’t matter what exactly the SPJ did or did not do, what matters is that we are grateful to be reminded of a truth we all ought to hold near and dear to our hearts. Even the best of people are still people. When so many are attempting to “control the narrative,” is it really all that surprising that a journalistic organization created by humans would falter? No. It’s entirely plausible, likely, and to be expected that people involved in journalism today might slip off the moral high ground.

This is why delegation is so dangerous. If you follow the wrong lemming, you’re going to end up dead, and so will the lemmings that chose to follow you.

What we’re sharing with you today is not sourced from the SPJ’s official Code of Ethics. It’s not even coming from their Mission Statement (which is truly amazing and worthy of respect). It’s coming from us, as we witness the SPJ having a “human moment” and our willingness to see it happening. Because, that’s the thing about humans. They can only be great, so long as we allow them to also be flawed.

We, of the Vashon Loop Editorial Team, are committed to seeking out great wisdom, advice, ideas and guidance from those with greater experience. But, we hold ourselves responsible for the decisions we make, the rules we follow, and the orders we obey.

November 28, 2022

About Author

March Twisdale

march March Twisdale has called Vashon Island home for nearly twenty years. A lifelong advocate of independent thought, March believes there are as many right choices as there are people in the world. She looks forward to bringing inspiring content to Vashon Loop readers, as she's done for eight years with her radio show - Prose, Poetry & Purpose. Find her on Substack.com by searching "Our Thoughts Matter."