A journalist won the trust of a public employee involved in a corruption scandal in order to wrote an article about it. The journalist sympathized with the employee, who provided the detail the journalist needed to write the article. The journalist and the employee made no agreement that the journalist would not publish information about the employee, but the employee thought that the journalist was the employee’s friend, something the journalist encouraged with text communication and friendly meetings.
The journalist published the article, which exposed a large corruption scandal that had been going on for years and which diverted badly needed public funds. The employee was not named in the article as the source of the information, but was arrested with others involved in the scandal following the publication of the article. The employee was also publicly criticized on social media and is unable to find employment.
1. Would people normally be able to treat another person in this way? Why or why not?
2. Why did the journalist did this? Do those reasons excuse or justify the way the journalist treated the employee?
3. Should the employee have realized that talking to the journalist could result in the corruption being exposed, and the employee being subject to criminal proceedings?
4. Has the employee been injured by the journalist’s actions or the employee’s actions, such as the employee’s failure to report the problem?