A journalist's job is to report news of public interest when they know it.
It seems kind of weird to write that sentence. I mean, that's pretty straightforward stuff. I mean, like basic Journalism 101 material.
But in the days since Andrew Luck's surprise retirement from the Colts, I was asked by more than one person what I thought about Adam Schefter breaking the news when he did, given the fact that Luck was scheduled to announce the news the next day. Should Schefter had held off on reporting it, and allowed Luck to announce his news on his own terms?
In a word, no.
Nope. Nope. No no no.
Journalists report news of public interest when they confirm it to be true. That's the job. It's not to give Andrew Luck or anybody else their moment. Our loyalty is not to our sources. It is to the public. First, last, and always.
My friend Jeremy Littau made a good point about this:
The news broke because someone told a member of the press. There are ethical reasons to consider holding back information, but that kind of situation involves considering whether reporting that news would harm or endanger the principal.— Jeremy Littau (@JeremyLittau) August 25, 2019