UNC student studying relationship between biz journalists and sources
by Chris Roush
My name is Victoria Stilwell, a senior economics and journalism double-major at UNC-Chapel Hill. As a student journalist of four years, I’ve become familiar with the complexities of source relations, especially in the field of business journalism. To help elucidate these relationships, I’m conducting a research study, “Business journalists and their sources: An overview of their relationship, interdependency, and trust,” with the purpose of providing insight into source-reporter interactions and the ethics of that bond.
Because no extensive research has been done on business journalists and their sources specifically, I am writing to ask you to participate in a survey if you are above the age of 18 years old. I know time to spend on any survey is scarce, but your contribution to this research would be appreciated. This survey should take a maximum of 10 minutes to complete, and you can save your answers and return to the questionnaire at any time.
Your participation in this study is confidential. You will not be asked to put any identifying information on the survey unless you volunteer to be contacted for a follow-up interview. If you do volunteer to be interviewed, you will be asked to submit your name and contact information to arrange a meeting or phone call. All information obtained in this study will be reported as group data and no individual can or will be identified in any reports.
The results of this research will be part of an undergraduate honors thesis I am writing to complete my degree in journalism and may be published in an academic journal or presented at conferences in the future. Additionally, SABEW leadership has requested that I provide them with my finished research for publication to members.
The relationship between business journalists and their sources is often called into question, with outsiders asking, “How close is too close?” Attacks on a journalist’s integrity can cause him or her to suffer a loss of reputation for trustworthiness and honesty, which are often the bedrock of reporting careers. Alternatively, when journalists are found acting unethically with their sources, it damages public trust in the media and can have negative outcomes for the targets of such collusion.
To begin the survey, click the link below and follow the instructions on the screen. The first page you will see will be the form for consent, which you will indicate by moving forward in the survey. If you do not consent, you may close the survey. If you have any questions about this research, please contact me at email@example.com. This research study (11-2403) is being conducted under the supervision of faculty and with approval from the Office of Human Research Ethics at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.