Walking the Line

After the birth of my son, a local photographer offered my new family a free sitting at his studio. He said the package he offered, which also included several prints, was valued at around $850. Although the photographer presented the offer outside of my work setting, he knew I was the editor of a magazine and could potentially offer him photography gigs in the future. He didn't say this was his intention--and it may not have been. But I didn't know. And as tempting as the offer was, I had to decline.

As a magazine editor, I sometimes face these types of ethical dilemmas. And it's my job to know the difference between someone offering a free product or service for legitimate editorial purposes and someone expecting something in return. Professionals in key decision-making positions will often find themselves confronted with ethical dilemmas.


Cathleen Flahardy

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