How thin is the line between mutually beneficial relationships and using someone? ‘Win win’ situations, where do you draw the line?
Being far from home becomes extremely frustrating when one starts running out of money, food, airtime etc. Apparently this is where “he” comes in. I met a very nice gentleman who is a part of the Res Committee through my roommate. We got along quite well, he visited our room from time to time and I made nothing of it. One day one of my roommate’s friend insisted that he likes me. Well I told her she was seeing things because the thought hadn’t crossed my mind. She continued with the allegations, I continued to deny it until his casual visits turned into a daily routine. It then became very obvious and I could no longer run from the truth. My roommate and her friends seemed to be very excited about this despite the fact that I was nowhere near interested. They then began to show me the reasons why dating him would be such a bonus for US! 1. He has a fridge... that actually has food. 2. Money. 3. Oh I’ve already mentioned the fact that he has a fridge. The list went on and on. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, oh and 10. He’s actually very sweet.
All of this was happening at a time when I was in a very tight financial corner but honestly the thought of deceiving someone for my own benefit made my stomach turn. I was desperate at the time, I needed to go home urgently but using somebody goes against everything I believe in. I made a decision that I will drink tap water until I buy my own fridge.
Our honourable guest Mahlatse Gallens who visited us a week ago made a powerful statement. She said “no story is worth your soul”. The word ethics in the field of journalism is as common as ‘sphatlo’ in Soshanguve. You cannot separate the two. Ethics is defined as standards of right behaviour or moral principles. That incident got me thinking - ethics are more than just rules of right and wrong that you only apply in the field of journalism, they are principles; fundamental beliefs that transcend text books and learning material. They are the base of who you are.
So if you have no problems with using people for your own convenience or to get ahead in life, do you honestly believe that you will turn down a bribe for a good story?