Practice Hard News Story- Senator Vetinari: Ethical and legal considerations

Hello readers!

As Journalists, there is constantly the dilemma between full disclosure and doing no harm. Sometimes ethical and legal considerations means that not everything can be put out into the public sphere.

This fictional scenario centres around Senator Havelock Vetinari. Vetinari has two teenage daughters and a wife who is very sick. The journalist follows the Senator without his knowledge, and subsequently sees Vetinari go to a brothel, get drunk and drive his car inebriated. The journalist also sees him being arrested for drink driving.

This exercise taught us what is ethically, and legally, acceptable to report on and what should be left out of the article.

Here is my response to the task…

A 57-year-old local Senator was arrested for drink driving in a Government car last night.

Police stopped the man on the corner of Negotiable Affection and Shades streets after seeing him swerving all over the road.

“He was arrested, put in the cells to sober up and attended a bail hearing this morning,” Police Constable Fred Colon said.

The Senator has been released on bail and is expected in court next week.

As part of the exercise, we also had to create two tweets on the incident. The first is sent just after the journalist has seen Vetinari being pulled over and the second is after the journalist has spoken to the police the next day.

Tweets on the incident

1) Local Senator pulled up by booze-bus in taxpayer-funded car. More details to come

2) Constable Colon confirms 57-year old man arrested for drunk driving. Believed to be a local Senator


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