The 8th lecture in this course was media ethics, and a guest lecturer came in to apply media ethics to real-life ethical conundrums that you face as a journalist. She first explained that in Australia, the ethicalness of a journalist's actions is based upon the rules set by the Media Alliance Code of Ethics. The three basic principles of this code of ethics is honesty, fairness and independence, which are all, in my opinion, nonnegotiable tenets. The news is only as reliable as the journalist who presents it, so those three principles are paramount to keeping the idea of 'news' alive.
She told us the story of how she was able to get an interview with the mother who suffered an unimaginable loss. The mother had recently lost her three children, all of whom died from rafting in a lake and being exposed to a live electrical wire. The guest lecturer referred type of interview as a 'death knock' because she had to visit the home of the grieving mother and father uninvited and try and land the interview then and there. This style of interview seems very invasive to me, but the mother consented to the interview, so I guess it was ethical.
One point she told us that really grabbed my attention was that she doesn't over-think the more depressing aspects of her career. She elaborated that coldness is the best remedy for not being overwhelmed by tragedy and despair, which makes me have a little bit more sympathy for journalists.