Test for ethical behavior – what will this look like on the front page of the newspaper?

You have probably heard this story before, but I will mention it again.  When you are pondering how to handle a situation, think about how it would look on the front page of the newspaper.  Do you want to see this policy, decision, or personnel action on the front page of the Wall Street Journal®?  How about the lead article in the local section of the Los Angeles Times®? The front page of your local paper? 

To bring the illustration into the social networking world, how would you feel if one of your staff emailed you saying the decision you made last month is at the top of The Huffington Post or Drudge Report?  (take your pick for which would be more unsettling to your constituency!)

For many people, the front-page-of-the-newspaper test is a good way to double check a decision.  If you would have a hard time defending something to a reporter who is on a short deadline, then maybe, just maybe, you need to ponder some more.

2 Responses to Test for ethical behavior – what will this look like on the front page of the newspaper?

  1. […] really bad, then maybe, just maybe, you might be making a bad decision.  I mentioned this in a post some time […]

  2. […] mentioned the front-page-of-the-newspaper-test as a way to help analyze ethical decisions. This case provides two […]

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