Journalism ethics in multinational family: “When in the EU, should one do as the EU journalists do?”
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Mass Media Ethics 23 (2):141 – 157 (2008)
This essay reviews a number of issues regarding self-regulation and professional ethics which journalists across Europe might face in the scaling down of national borders. The dilemma of whether a pan-European ideal standards code of ethics can help journalists when working across borders and encountering other traditions is explored by referring to Slovenia, one of the new European Union (EU) members. Presenting a critique of the traditional professionalization concept, cogent arguments are found for rejecting a universal code of ethics. By acknowledging the limitations and even deficiencies of such codified morality, a journalist's responsibility is emphasized and a different concept of ethics is indicated. Ethical journalists in this international context must focus on responsibility, positive tolerance, and empathy that transcends mere obedience to a code. The EU citizen's ethics rather than EU professional ethics should be advanced, based on universal principles and grounded in personal responsibility.
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