Divergence of duty: Differences in legal and ethical responsibilities

Journal of Mass Media Ethics 14 (4):213 – 230 (1999)
Abstract
Focusing on media actions surrounding the initial shootout between the Branch Davidian religious group and agents of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms outside Waco, Texas, in 1993, this article examines legal and ethical duties of the media. Using the legal concept of negligence and the work of several philosophers, the article concludes first that the media did not violate their legal duties but did violate the ethical duty to minimize harm and second that although law and ethical intertwine and often share vocabulary, they are different.
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