This section is from the book "Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: A Guide To Correct Writing", by Thos. E. Hill. Also available from Amazon: Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: The How-To-Do-Everything Book Of Victorian America.
The reporter should be truthful. In writing of any event, great care should be taken to state the actual facts. To do this, the reporter should possess the energy to go to the scene of action, if possible, himself, and learn the exact condition of affairs. It is often unsafe to depend upon hearsay.
The reporter should carefully guard against allowing his own opinions to warp or bias his report of the sayings or doings of others, thus giving, almost without his being conscious of the fact, an untruthful representation. A plain, unvarnished report should be made, and nothing else.
Much discretion should be exercised in the personal mention of individuals. A dozen words, thoughtlessly written, may do irreparable injury to the reputation of an innocent person : a paragraph in praise may add to the life-long happiness and prosperity of the individual upon whom it is bestowed. As a general rule, while praise may be personally given, if wrongs exist, it is better to speak of them in general terms, rather than couple them with names of the individuals at fault; though, if the person be notoriously persistent in a course of wrong doing, justice demands newspaper exposure.