David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Mass Media Ethics 9 (3):145 – 156 (1994)
Private information about individuals contained in computerized data bases is readily available to journalists, who have a moral obligation to inform the masses as a means of redistributing power in society. The journalist's duty to inform, however, conflicts with the duty to respect the privacy of individuals. Because legislation is largely ineffective in protecting individual privacy, the journalist's moral responsibility assumes additional weight. However, the journalist should not allow the claim of privacy to keep him or her from investigating matters in which the public has a legitimate interest. To determine the extent of legitimate interest, the journalist must be able to distinguish between a right to knowledge and a curious interest in knowing. The journalist is offered a 5-point test to assist in determining when an invasion of privacy via data-base research and subsequent publication is warranted.
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References found in this work BETA
Sissela Bok (1982/1984). Secrets: On the Ethics of Concealment and Revelation. Oxford University Press.
Immanuel Kant (2009). Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals. In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Exploring Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology. Oxford University Press.
Christopher Meyers (1993). Justifying Journalistic Harms: Right to Know Vs. Interest in Knowing. Journal of Mass Media Ethics 8 (3):133 – 146.
W. D. Ross (1954/1978). Kant's Ethical Theory: A Commentary on the Grundlegung Zur Metaphysik Der Sitten. Greenwood Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Kim Walsh-Childers, Norman P. Lewis & Jeffrey Neely (2011). Listeners, Not Leeches: What Virginia Tech Survivors Needed From Journalists. Journal of Mass Media Ethics 26 (3):191 - 205.
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