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Groping for Ethics in Journalism

Iowa State University Press (1983)

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  1. The Public's Right to Know in Liberal-Democratic Thought Vs. The People's ‘Obligation to Know’ in Hebrew Law.Tsuriel Rashi - 2009 - Empedocles: European Journal for the Philosophy of Communication 1 (1):91-105.
  • What Journalists and Researchers Have in Common About Ethics.David Kennamer - 2005 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 20 (1):77 – 89.
    The past several decades have seen an increase in the concern for the treatment of human participants in research. Similarly, the ways journalists treat their subjects and sources have generated much concern. The ethics of these 2 endeavors share much in common, because both must use people in various ways to reach their goals. The well-developed guidelines in research designed to protect research participants' autonomy, to guard against needless deception, and to recognize the special needs of vulnerable research participants have (...)
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  • Right to Know, Press Freedom, Public Discourse.Candace Cummins Gauthier - 1999 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 14 (4):197-212.
    The people's right to know and press rights to gather and publish information remain dominant justifications for controversial media activities. Yet, the power of the media to set the agenda for public discourse in our country warrants a careful analysis of these rights, their corresponding responsibilities, and their moral limits. This article examines the right to know and press freedom from the perspective of their shared purpose, facilitation of informed decision making. This article also demonstrates moral justification of limits on (...)
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  • Predicting Tolerance of Journalistic Deception.Seow Ting Lee - 2005 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 20 (1):22 – 42.
    In a Web-based survey of 740 investigative journalists, competition and medium emerge as the 2 most salient predictors of journalists' tolerance of deception. Journalists who view competition as an important consideration in ethical decision making are more tolerant of deception. Television journalists have a higher tolerance of deception than print journalists. Overall, organizational factors such as medium and organization size are better predictors of deception tolerance than individual-level variables such as age, education, work experience, journalism as a college major, or (...)
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  • "Fruit of the Poisonous Tree": Journalistic Ethics and Voice-Mail Surveillance.Cecilia Friend & Donald Challenger - 2001 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 16 (4):255-272.
    A 1998 Cincinnati Enquirer investigation into the Central American labor practices of Chiquita Brands International was substantiated by the taped words of company officials themselves. Yet, soon after publication, the Enquirer ran a stunning front-page retraction and disavowed the report without challenging its claims. The Gannett Corporation, the paper's owner, paid Chiquita $14 million to avoid a suit. The resultant outcry by journalists was directed not at Gannett, but at lead reporter Michael Gallagher, who had surreptitiously accessed Chiquita voice mail (...)
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  • Lessons on Ethics in News Reporting Textbooks, 1867-1997.Joseph A. Mirando - 1998 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 13 (1):26 – 39.
    An a l y s e s of more than 300 textbooksfound that the development of lessons on ethics in news reporting and writing textbooks clearly mirrored the development of scholarship in media ethics. Substantial discussion of ethics did not appear in textbooks until the 1920s and 1930s, and after a 40-year absence, returned in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. However, the author argues, the potentialforfurther advancement of ethics lessons among news reporting and writing textbooks remains n question mark. Text (...)
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  • Defining and Analyzing Journalistic Deception.Deni Elliott & Charles Culver - 1992 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 7 (2):69 – 84.
    Many journalists, readers and scholars exhibit confusion concerning the nature and justification of deception. In this article, we clarify those acts that should count as deception. Before discussing if any cases of deception can be construed as morally justified, we clarify which investigative, interrogative, and information-giving techniques are deceptive on their face. We also bracket borderline cases.
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  • What Should We Teach About Formal Codes of Communication Ethics?Richard L. Johannesen - 1988 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 3 (1):59 – 64.
    First, this article summarizes major arguments levied against codes. Second, standards for a sound ethical code are presented. Third, a trend is described toward more concrete codes developed by specific communication organizations. Finally, positive functions of codes are examined, with special emphasis on two: the argumentative function and the character?depiction function.
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  • A Quantitative Examination of Ethical Dilemmas in Public Relations.Don W. Stacks & Donald K. Wright - 1989 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 4 (1):53 – 67.
    This research examined ethical responses of public relations preprofessionals to dilemmas they may face later in their careers. Subjects were required to respond to a request for information ordered suppressed by their employer. Results support earlier findings that students expect personal moral?ethical values to override organizational concerns. Implications of the findings are discussed.
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  • Pedagogical Ethics for Public Relations and Advertising.S. L. Harrison - 1990 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 5 (4):256 – 262.
    Ethics, of increasing concern to college educators, is being given more attention in public relations and advertising courses. A vast number of respondents to a survey assessing this issue agreed that ethics is important and nearly all (93%) asserted that it is included in course work. Few educational institutions, however, include a separate course for ethics and fewer than half require it. In ethics texts and courses the emphasis is on the journalism aspect, and it is evident that a great (...)
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  • The Cracked Mirror: An Imperfect Case of Press Self-Examination.Fiona A. E. McQuarrie - 1992 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 7 (1):19 – 30.
    A July, 1990, controversy in British Columbia, Canada, involved a set of audiotapes detailing an apparent abuse of power by the province's attorney general and a relationship between the attorney general and a member of the press. The controversy was covered extensively in local media. A discussion of relevant ethical issues is followed by an analysis of their coverage in the press. Recommendations are made for more effective handling of ethical issues by media organizations and more meaningful reporting of such (...)
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  • The Obligation to Qualify Speculation.Mark Cenite - 2005 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 20 (1):43 – 61.
    This article proposes a journalism ethics obligation to identify speculation clearly, attribute it to sources, report any basis for it, and offer appropriate qualification, especially when speculation is based on stereotypes of stigmatized groups. Explicitly recognizing this responsibility addresses a gap in the traditional conception of journalistic responsibilities: When journalists fulfill responsibilities corresponding to their gatekeeper and watchdog roles by reporting sources' views, speculation may enter. Examples from major American newspaper and newsmagazine coverage of Andrew Cunanan, an openly gay man (...)
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  • Freebies and Moonlighting in Local Tv News: Perceptions of News Directors.K. Tim Wulfemeyer - 1989 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 4 (2):232 – 248.
    Television news directors were questioned about their interpretations and implementation of new Radio?Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) guidelines covering potential conflicts of interest such as moonlighting and acceptance of freebies. Nearly half responded that accepting gifts of value is prohibited, but that moonlighting is more acceptable, under certain conditions. Freebies appear most acceptable when they make possible coverage of otherwise inaccessible areas.
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  • Journalist as Source: The Moral Dilemma of News Rescue.David J. Vergobbi - 1992 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 7 (4):233 – 245.
    Sometimes a news organization withholds information for reasons other than news judgment. But if one news agency will not publish certain information, does this prevent a staff member from making it possible for a different agency to publish the facts and thus rescue the story from secrecy? This study reveals that most journalists accept such news rescue incidents as part of the game, but raise ethical and legal concerns pitting news ownership against right to information.
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  • News Photographs and the Pornography of Grief.Jennifer E. Brown - 1987 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 2 (2):75 – 81.
    Everyone knows a picture is worth a thousand words. But sometimes, especially in journalism, a picture can be worth much, much more. This added value isn't always positive. Pictures can inflict lasting pain on victims of grief and tragedy. This paper by an undergraduate journalism student explores the ethical dilemmas photographers face when capturing such traumatic incidents on film and explores the lack of professional guidelines available to guide them.
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  • R. Budd Dwyer: A Case Study in Newsroom Decision Making.Patrick R. Parsons & William E. Smith - 1988 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 3 (1):84 – 94.
    In late January of 1987, the State Treasurer of Pennsylvania, R. Budd Dwyer, shot himself to death in front of a dozen reporters and camera crews during a news conference in his office. Much was subsequently made in the popular press, and within the profession, about the difficult ethical decision television journalists were faced with in determining how much of the very graphic suicide tape to air. A review of the literature in this area suggests, however, that journalists have established (...)
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  • The Disappearing Media Ethics Debate in Letters to the Editor.Brian Thornton - 1998 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 13 (1):40 – 55.
    How many letters to the editor published in today's popular magazines discuss media ethics? How do the number of letters to the editor about media ethics compare with lettersfrom an earlier era? To find some answers, this article compares the number of letters to the editor about journalistic standards contained in all the letters published in 10 popular magazines between 1982 and 1992 with those of 10 popular magazines published between 1902 and 1912. Of almost 42,000 letters to the editor (...)
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  • Consumer Magazines and Ethical Guidelines.Vicki Hesterman - 1987 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 2 (2):93 – 101.
    Americans read more than 10 magazines per month. Despite the profound effect this exposure has on individuals and society, little research has been done into ethical standards of magazines. Results of this pilot study of 100 consumer magazines indicate a considerable lack of standard practices and few ethical guidelines.
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  • Coalesce or Collide? Ethics, Technology, and Tv Journalism 1991.Don E. Tomlinson - 1987 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 2 (2):21 – 31.
    By strict definition, television journalism, like every form of journalism, has always been ?unreal?; some form of constructed mediated reality.1 But now, television journalism is coming to a crossroads?one where ethics and technology will meet squarely at right angles if not head?on. And it is reality, even the constructed mediated kind, that will be at risk. In a few years, television journalism at the network and local levels will have the capability, through television's emerging conversion from analog to digital technology, (...)
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  • Ethical Thought in Public Relations History: Seeking a Relevant Perspective.Genevieve McBride - 1989 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 4 (1):5 – 20.
    A serious retardant to development of a specifically public relations (PR) ethical philosophy is the tendency to retain a commitment uniquely journalistic? objectivity. Ivy Lee and Edward Bernays offered two ethical options or imperatives, based on objectivity or on advocacy. Public relations must accept a commitment to the ethics of persuasion in order to reduce a crippling inferiority complex and advance understanding of the profession by its practitioners as well as the public.
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  • Journalistic Standards in Nineteenth-Century America/Media Hoaxes/the Watchdog Concept: The Press and the Courts in Nineteenth-Century America (Book).John P. Ferre - 1991 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 6 (3):182 – 187.
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  • Enforcing Media Codes.Clifford Christians - 1985 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 1 (1):14 – 21.
    The longstanding debates aver how to enforce codes of ethics reflect a serious flaw in understanding the nature of ?accountability.?; Fuzziness aver that basic notion has allowed the quantity of codes to expand, without any improvement in their quality or in media behavior. The essay maintains that we repeat the same arguments today that moralistic journalists did in the 1920s, because we lack intellectual precision aver such issues as internal vis a vis external controls, ethics vis a vis First Amendment (...)
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  • The Journalist in Life-Saving Situations: Detached Observer or Good Samaritan?Gail Marion & Ralph Izard - 1986 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 1 (2):61 – 67.
    This article investigates journalists? attitudes regarding the interface between the craft's commitment to detached observation when covering the news and the perhaps equally compelling drive to assist other human beings in need at the scene of a life?threatening newsworthy incident. Also examined is the journalistic attitude toward the propriety of incorporating relevant ?good Samaritan?; provisions in existing codes of ethics and policy statements as exceptions to the primary goal of detached observation. While journalists generally are in agreement that they have (...)
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  • Anonymous Sources in News Stories: Justifying Exceptions and Limiting Abuses.David E. Boeyink - 1990 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 5 (4):233 – 246.
    As discussion intensifies, and critics exploit what they see as a serious press abuse of anonymous sources, this article explores current practices and policies, as well as examines justification for and danger of anonymous source usage. Seven guidelines are listed and discussed which may help editors and reporters decide whether to use the anonymous source: editor authorization, just cause, last resort, fullest possible identification, proportionality, just intentions, and second source verification.
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  • Grounding an Ethics of Journalism.John P. Ferré - 1988 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 3 (1):18-27.
    This essay is a revision of ?Rudiments of an Ethics of News Reporting,?; which won honorable mention in the 1985 Carol Burnett/University of Hawaii/ AEJMC Prize for Student Papers on Journalism Ethics. It argues that news reporting suffers from a misplaced faith in individual autonomy, a faith that resists a sense of social duty on the basis of negative freedom; therefore, journalism stands in need of a moral theory that recognizes community and personhood as fundamental human characteristics essential to ethical (...)
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  • Of Crime and Consequence: Should Newspapers Report Rape Complainants' Names?James Burges Lake - 1991 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 6 (2):106 – 118.
    Fear of public disclosure that will add to the humiliation of rape or other sexual assault is real for victims. In discussing this issue, cases for concealment and for disclosure are examined and suggestions are made for determining whether to publish names of victims.
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  • Undercover, Masquerading, Surreptitious Taping.Louis W. Hodges - 1988 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 3 (2):26 – 36.
    The moral dimensions of undercover investigations by reporters are explored for their deception characteristics, using disclosures about a clinic in which doctors told women they were pregnant when they were not as an example. Three test questions are posed for the justifying of deceptive tactics in gathering information. In addition to undercover investigations, the morality of surreptitious taping is also discussed.
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