International law and the search for universal principles in journalism ethics

Journal of Mass Media Ethics 17 (3):193 – 208 (2002)
International human rights law that protects freedom of the press provides a cross-culturally reliable foundation from which to launch a consideration of universal principles in journalism ethics. After examining certain assumptions made by the international law about individuals and about the kind of journalism the law intends to protect, in this article I propose that truthtelling, independence, and freedom with responsibility are universal ethical principles international law envisions for journalists. These principles would undoubtedly be applied differentially in different cultures, but I conclude that the culturally specific ways journalists analyze ethical dilemmas can arise from a common concern for the 3 principles.
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DOI 10.1207/S15327728JMME1703_02
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Sissela Bok (2002). Common Values. University of Missouri.

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