Dissertation, Linköping University (2015)

Mayli Mertens
Linkoping University
This master thesis analyzes specific challenges concerning 'truth-telling' war reporters face when reporting on international conflict. For this purpose truth is examined in accordance with journalistic principles outlined in codes of ethics, with a focus on objectivity and fairness. The aim is to discover ways to improve the application of principles, in order to battle epistemic errors and the effects they entail: polarization, reductionism, and superficiality. The study concludes that providing context and nuance is crucial, but that codes - although essential - are insufficient in helping journalists decide what is relevant and what is not. An approach in virtue ethics is recommended where phronesis (or practical wisdom) can inspire responsible journalists to comply with the spirit, rather than the letter of the principles.
Keywords media ethics  responsible journalism  war reporting  truth  bias  objectivity  fairness  virtue ethics  phronesis  epistemic injustice
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