David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Mass Media Ethics 27 (1):2-14 (2012)
Authenticity as an ideal is construed in general as an expression of existentialist unhappiness with the perceived dehumanization of man in modern society. Existential journalism can be seen as rejection of the demands of conformism and compromise of personal convictions that many journalists face. Ethically, existential journalism calls on journalists to live authentic lives, as private individuals as well as in their profession. This means to resist external pressures and to choose to follow a path that can be defended by the individual journalist's inner conscience. Existential journalism, in general, has been more debated in the field of mass media ethics than authenticity. Authenticity is, however, a contested concept, and this essay applies a critical discussion about authenticity as an ethical guide to the field of journalism. Weaknesses in the idea of existential authenticity problematize the existential construal of authenticity as a route to heightened ethical awareness for contemporary journalists.
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