Journal of Mass Media Ethics 3 (1):84 – 94 (1988)
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 a set of relatively detailed conventions for dealing with events involving graphic depictions of death. Analysis of the Dwyer tape and interviews conducted with Pennsylvania television news directors show that eighteen of the twenty stations in the state that carry news used basically the same type and amount of footage in their evening newscasts. One decided to use no tape. One showed the moment of death. When the story broke around noon, two additional stations showed the moment of suicide, but they revised their story for the evening program. In addition, the wide majority of news directors interviewed said they had little difficulty in deciding how to edit the tape. The processing of the Dwyer story suggests that any ethical dilemmas faced by journalists during decision making were put aside for later consideration. The material was edited quickly and according to similar patterns, or conventions, around the state. The study suggests greater attention be given to the definition and interaction of personal professional values, in the ethical sense, and norms of news processing, in the sociological sense
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
Citations of this work BETA
Codes and Culture at the Courier-Journal: Complexity in Ethical Decision Making.David E. Boeyink - 1998 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 13 (3):165 – 182.
“They Are Not Different From Others”: Ethical Practices and Corruption in Bangladeshi Journalism.Manzur Elahi - 2013 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 28 (3):189-202.
Similar books and articles
Usa Today, its Imitators, and its Critics: Do Newsroom Staffs Face an Ethical Dilemma?George Albert Gladney - 1993 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 8 (1):17 – 36.
Video Ethics: The Dilemma of Value Balancing.Robert M. Steele - 1987 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 2 (2):7 – 17.
Ethics in All-News Radio: Perceptions of News Directors.K. Tim Wulfemeyer - 1990 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 5 (3):178 – 190.
Normative Conflict in the Newsroom: The Case of Digital Photo Manipulation.Wilson Lowrey - 2003 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 18 (2):123 – 142.
Journalist as Source: The Moral Dilemma of News Rescue.David J. Vergobbi - 1992 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 7 (4):233 – 245.
Sensationalism Versus News of the Moral Life: Making the Distinction.Karen L. Slattery - 1994 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 9 (1):5 – 15.
Media Lawyers as Factors in the Ethical Decisions of Journalists.Sigman L. Splichal - 1997 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 12 (2):101 – 108.
Television News Ethics: A Survey of Television News Directors.Roger Hadley - 1989 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 4 (2):249 – 264.
Tv News Photographer as Equipment: A Response.Jeffrey A. Marks - 1987 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 2 (2):18 – 20.
Not Biting the Hand That Feeds Them: Hegemonic Expediency in the Newsroom and the Karen Ryan/Health and Human Services Department Video News Release.I. I. I. John - 2008 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 23 (2):110 – 125.
Added to index2009-03-04
Total downloads24 ( #210,604 of 2,169,103 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #345,850 of 2,169,103 )
How can I increase my downloads?