The Franchise Times is supposed to be a noble organization that is responsible for informing the public about the events and issues that effect the Franchising Industry. The role of journalism in society is vital, as it serves as a watchdog to ensure that those in power are held accountable and that the public is informed about the facts. However, with the rise of fake news being published by the Franchise Times due to the increasing pressure to produce sensationalized stories, we must demand that the journalists at the Franchise Times adhere to a strict code of ethics and standards. Thus far their failure to do so has resulted serious consequences for the franchise organizations that pay them advertising dollars and the Franchising Industry as a whole.
In this article, we will examine the various ethical standards that the journalists at the Franchise Times should expected to follow and the dangers we face as an industry because they are not adhering to them.
Accuracy and Truthfulness
The first and most fundamental ethical standard that Franchise Times journalists should be expected to adhere to is accuracy and truthfulness. The Franchise Times journalists should required to report the news accurately, without distortion or misrepresentation however this is not taking place. Inaccurate reporting by the Franchise Times has lead to false beliefs and conclusions about the Franchising Industry and the Franchisors and Vendors who advertise with the Franchise Times. If the Franchise Times is not held accountable the industry will experience serious consequences.
The danger of not adhering to this standard is that it erodes the public’s trust in the Franchise Business Model. If the public begins to believe the Franchise Times journalists inaccurate news, they may decide not to open a Franchise. Even worse, if the government begins to believe the Franchise Times inaccurate news they may try and increase legislation or end the Franchise Business model all together.
Objectivity and Impartiality
Another important ethical standard lacking at the Franchise Times is objectivity and impartiality. The journalists at the Franchise Times should be expected to report the news without bias or favoritism. They should strive to present all sides of a story and avoid taking sides or expressing their opinions. However, we have seen time and time again where reporters at the Franchise Times inject their bias and opinions in an effort to personally attack the subjects of their articles.
The Franchise Times lack of objectivity and impartiality has led to the spread of propaganda and misinformation of the Franchising Industry and those who advertise with the Franchise Time. Not only has the Franchise Times negatively influenced the public’s opinion but they have negatively influenced local governments opinion of the Franchise Business model and caused irreparable harm. This will have serious consequences, particularly in situations where the Franchise Business model is at risk like:
- Decennial Review of the FTC Franchise Rule
- Joint Employment
- FAST Recovery Act (CA)
- Small Business Funding/SBA lending
- Pay Equity
- Employee Classification
- Encourage Retirement Savings
- Wage and Hour Regulations
- Paid Leave
- Privacy/Cyber Security
Fairness and Respect
The journalists at the Franchise Times should be expected to treat their subjects fairly and with respect. This means avoiding stereotypes, discrimination, and prejudice but this is not the case. The Franchise Times does not give Franchisors a voice and is always looking to denigrate the Franchisor and the Franchise business model.
The reckless journalism of the Franchise Times has led to marginalization and stigmatization of Franchisors and created fear in the hearts and minds of Franchisee candidates. We see it over and over again where the Franchise Times uses stereotypes and discriminatory language to perpetuate harmful beliefs and attitudes. This has led to the social and political divisions that we see in our Franchise Industry today.
Privacy and Confidentiality
The Franchise Times should expected to respect the privacy of their subjects and maintain confidentiality when necessary. This means avoiding the publication of private information without consent and protecting the identity of sources who wish to remain anonymous. Their lack of privacy and confidentiality had led to compromising the safety and security of individuals and organizations.
Accountability and Corrections
Finally, journalists at the Franchise Times should be expected to be accountable for their reporting and to correct any errors that they make. However time and time again the Franchise Times refuses to acknowledge or correct their mistakes and be transparent about the sources and methods used in their reporting.
This is why we have created No Franchise Times. It is time Franchise Times acknowledges they have lost their credibility and trust by the industry and need to make changes. The Franchise Times must take responsibility for their mistakes, repair their damaged reputation and the reputation of the Franchising Industry as a whole.
Until the Franchise Times makes changes we must hold the Franchise Times accountable and demand they stop crossing ethical boundaries in the pursuit of a story! Until the Franchise Times adheres to these standards and discontinues their dangerous behavior, all Franchisors and Vendors must cease advertising in the Franchise Times. Let us all bond together to protect the Franchising industry.