Ethicists in and out of the profession have argued that a journalist's precept to report only the truth is deduced, say, from utilitarianism's appeal to social utility or Rawls' appeal to justice as fairness. The mistake in this is indicated by an argument that the physician owes his or her professional ethic to the human need for health and the lawyer's to the human need for justice. The journalist, therefore, may well owe his or her professional regard for truthful reporting (...) to everyone's need for news?a critical element in a democratic society. So, instead of basing journalisticethics in the fashionable moral philosophies of the modern era, it is better to argue that it grows out of the special nature of the craft, as imbedded in a more venerable notion of self fulfilling social responsibility. (shrink)
Objective journalism is blamed frequently for all sorts of journalistic failures and weaknesses, but the critiques typically are flawed because their authors fail to understand objectivity or to define it precisely. This defense of objective journalism defines objectivity and suggests that it is indispensable in a free society, summarizes major critiques of and alternatives to objectivity, and proposes that critics and defenders might serve journalism best by seeking common ground.
This paper uses Beijing Youth Daily , the second biggest local newspaper in Beijing, as a case study to examine Chinese news people's perceptions of their professional roles and unethical practices. The author argues that Chinese journalistic professionalism has developed. Journalists see their most fundamental role as that of disseminator. Their concepts of professional roles and virtues are surprisingly similar to those held by journalists in liberal democratic countries. However, Chinese journalists' partial representation of the party/state and their tolerance (...) towards unethical practices such as paid journalism or “red envelopes” suggest they are more likely to be under pressures from both politics and commerce. (shrink)
Government has played a pervasive and largely overlooked role in journalists' ethical decision making. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules governing program content, and a libel law system run amok, are only two wats government influences journalists' behavior. This substitution of government ethics for private ethics creates minimum standards of conduct rather than challenging journalists to an ethical ideal. More subtly, government erects structural barriers to the development of the very technologies (like cable TV) that can offer journalists a (...) more ethically hospitable environment. In the information age, ethicists will need to be aware of, and wary of, government attempts to control development of the very media that hold the greatest ethical promise. (shrink)
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 (...) to support his allegations. Rather than being lauded as a tough investigative reporter serving a greater good, Gallagher was fired, convicted, sued by Chiquita, and vilified in the media. Was the backlash driven simply by higher ethical standards or also by anxieties about intrusive technology? A reexamination of the case suggests the latter explanation and helps frame an evolving debate about electronic eavesdropping by the media. (shrink)
El Paso Times journalists routinely face ethical dilemmas as they cover difficult stories amid all of the violence in neighboring Ciudad Juarez. This ethnographic study, which utilizes participant-observation and in-depth interviews, examines how journalists deal with tough ethical choices. It reveals how reporters and editors at the El Paso Times consider the needs of the public and the ramifications of their stories. The journalists strive to be accurate and fair while protecting their sources and themselves. They weigh the importance of (...) each story with its potential for risk. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that journalists who report on tragedies need to avoid two extremes in reader reaction: a state of titillation, as well as a state of revulsion, with regard to the facts of the story. Either reaction distances the reader from experiencing the full reality of the tragic event. I suggest the benefit of studying Aristotle’s writings. In his Poetics and Rhetoric, Aristotle not only describes states of mind which the tragic dramatist takes care to avoid, but (...) he also describes how such authors avoided these extremes. Reporters are not dramatists, but if reporters can apply Aristotle’s understanding of good tragic drama to their reporting, they can better avoid extremes in reader reaction which turn readers away from the full reality of disasters and atrocities, and thereby help them better cope with news that is often profoundly disturbing. (shrink)
ABSTRACTEthical scandals involving journalists in English-speaking West African countries have been documented to include conflict of interest, freebies, intellectual theft, deception, carelessness, kowtowing to advertisers and politicians, use of dubious evidence, and outright bias. This study explores how pronounced and clear the rules relating to these breaches are in the codes of these countries and whether the similarities and dissimilarities in wording indicate the influence of individual actors involved in writing them. Relying on thematic and qualitative document analysis methods, the (...) study found that rules in the codes addressing the ethical breaches are pronounced and clear. Although largely similar in content, the codes also feature important differences that are strongly related to the composition of the groups that wrote them. This study discusses why ethical challenges in these countries persist in the midst well-written code of ethics. (shrink)
Since the introduction of radio and television news, journalism has gone through multiple transformations, but each time it has been sustained by a commitment to basic values and best practices. Journalism Ethics is a reminder, a defense and an elucidation of core journalistic values, with particular emphasis on the interplay of theory, conceptual analysis and practice. The book begins with a sophisticated model for ethical decision-making, one that connects classical theories with the central purposes of journalism. Top scholars (...) from philosophy, journalism and communications offer essays on such topics as objectivity, privacy, confidentiality, conflict of interest, the history of journalism, online journalism, and the definition of a journalist. The result is a guide to ethically sound and socially justified journalism-in whatever form that practice emerges. Journalism Ethics will appeal to students and teachers of journalism ethics, as well as journalists and practical ethicists in general. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Contributors ix -- Foreword by Douglas A. Boyd andJoseph D. Straubhaar xiii -- Preface byMariaHenson xv -- Acknowledgments xvii -- Part I. Introduction 1 -- Chapter 1. Journalism as a Mission: Ethics and Purpose -- from an International Perspective -- by Joseph B. Atkins 3 -- Chapter 2. Chaos and Order: Sacrificing the Individual for the -- Sake of Social Harmony -- by John C. Merrill 17 -- Part II. In the United States and Latin (...) America 37 -- Chapter 3. Ways of a Muckraker -- by Jerry Mitchell 39 -- Chapter 4. A Sinister Zone of Likeness: Journalists as Heroes and -- Villains in the U.S. South and in Central and Eastern -- Europe -- by Joseph B. Atkins 45 -- Chapter 5. From Collusion to Independence: The Press, The Ruling -- Party, and Democratization in Mexico -- byMichaelSnodgrass 55 -- Chapter 6. The Outspoken Journalist Is an Expression, a Symbol -- of Colombia -- by Stephen E Jackson 69 -- Part III. In Europe 77 -- Chapter 7. The Stranger: Minorities and Their Treatment -- in the German Media -- by Georg Ruhrmann 79 -- Chapter 8. Between State Control and the Bottom Line: -- Journalism and Journalism Ethics in Hungary -- by Ildiko Kaposi and Eva Vajda 91 -- Chapter 9. SITA: Slovakia's First Independent News Service and -- Its Battles with the Huey Long of the Danube -- byPavol Mudry 101 -- Chapter 10. Holding Politicians' Feet to the Fire in Slovenia -- by Bernard Nezmah 111 -- Part IV. In the Middle East and Africa 121 -- Chapter 11. Lebanese Television: Caught Between the -- Government and the Private Sector -- by Nabil Dajani 123 -- Chapter 12. Press Freedom and the Crisis of Ethical Journalism -- in Southern Africa -- by Regina Jere-Malanda 143 -- Chapter 13. Nigerian Press Ethics and the Politics of Pluralism -- by Minabere Ibelema 153 -- Part V. In South and East Asia 169 -- Chapter 14. The Indian Press: Covering an Enigma -- byJayanti Ram-Chandran 171 -- Chapter 15. Palace Intrigue in Katmandu and the Press in Nepal -- byAkhilesh Upadhyay 181 -- Chapter 16. The Press in Japan: Job Security versus -- Journalistic Mission -- by Takehiko Nomura 187 -- Part VI. Three Journalists and Their Missions 201 -- Chapter 17. A Journey in Journalism: From Idealism -- to Bankruptcy -- by Neil White III 203 -- Chapter 18. Reclaiming Responsibility: A Journalist and Artist -- in the Catholic Worker Movement -- by Chuck Trapkus 211 -- Chapter 19. Ryszard Kapuscinski: The Empathetic Existentialist -- by Joseph B. Atkins and Bernard Nezmah 217 -- Postscript The White Rose: On the Martyrdom of Student Pamphleteers in -- Nazi Germany and Their Legacy -- by Joseph B. Atkins 227 -- References 233 -- Index 243. (shrink)
The Moral Media provides readers with preliminary answers to questions about ethical thinking in a professional environment. Representing one of the first publications of journalists' and advertising practitioners' response to the Defining Issues Test (DIT), this book compares thinking about ethics by these two groups with the thinking of other professionals. This text is divided into three parts: *Part I includes chapters that explain the DIT and place it within the larger history of three fields: psychology, philosophy, and mass (...) communication. It also provides both a statistical (quantitative) and narrative (qualitative) analysis of journalists' responses to the DIT. *Part II adds to scholarship theory building in these three disciplines and makes changes in the DIT that adds an element of visual information processing to the test. *Part III explores the larger meaning of this effort overall and links the results to theory and practice in these three fields. The Moral Media pursues connections among various intellectual disciplines, between the academy and the profession of journalism, and among those who believe that what journalists do is essential. As a result, this book is appropriate for aspiring journalists; scholars in journalism and mass communication; psychologists, particularly those interested in human development and behavior; and philosophers. (shrink)
Ethics for Journalists tackles many of the issues which journalists face in their everyday lives-- from the media's supposed obsession with sex, sleaze and sensationalism, to issues of regulation and censorship. Its accessible style and question and answer approach highlights the relevance of ethical issues for everyone involved in journalism, both trainees and professionals, whether working in print, broadcast or new media.
Ethics in Journalism examines journalism ethics in practice. It examines the social context of the newsroom, the economics of the news industry and cultural expectations of what constitutes news. Covering ethical issues in the multimedia journalism environment of the 21st Century, Ethics in Journalism updates theory and history through a discussion of contemporary and recent case studies that are aligned with the underlying principles of various codes of ethics and charters of editorial practice. The book provides (...) contextualized case studies and discussion questions for classroom use, covering ethical issues in a logical manner, beginning with broad principles before focusing on specific examples. (shrink)
Public dissatisfaction with the news media frequently gives rise to calls for journalists to live up to the ethical standards of their profession. But what if the fault lies in part with the standards themselves?Jeremy Iggers argues that journalism’s institutionalized conversation about ethics largely evades the most important issues regarding the public interest and the civic responsibilities of the press. Changes in the ownership and organization of the news media make these issues especially timely; although journalism’s ethics rest (...) on the idea of journalism as a profession, the rise of market-driven journalism has undermined journalists’ professional status.Ultimately, argues Iggers, journalism is impossible without a public that cares about the common life. A more meaningful approach to journalism ethics must begin with a consideration of the role of the news media in a democratic society and proceed to look for practical ways in which journalism can contribute to the vitality of public life.Written in an accessible style, Good News, Bad News is important reading for journalists, communication scholars, and students. (shrink)
What are ethics? -- News : towards a definition -- Morality of reporting -- The good journalist -- Truth, accuracy, objectivity and trust -- Privacy and intrusion -- Reputation -- Gathering the news -- Reporting the vulnerable -- Deciding what to publish -- Taste and decency : harm and offence -- Professional practice -- Regulation -- History of print regulation -- History of broadcast regulation -- Codes of conduct as a regulatory system -- Press regulation systems in the UK (...) and Ireland -- Broadcast regulation systems in the UK and Ireland -- The experience abroad. (shrink)
What are ethics? Why does ethical journalism matter? How do ethics affect good journalism? Ethics and Journalism provides a comprehensive overview of the main approaches to ethical enquiry in Western journalism. It examines the ethical dilemmas faced by journalists in all areas of the media and sets our ways of achieving ethical journalism. Ethics and Journalism: - Explores such subjects as: private lives and the public interest, relations to sources and coverage of death, disease and destruction (...) - Examines the role of regulation and self-regulation of the media industry - Discusses strategies of good journalism - Thoroughly examines the role of industry codes. Ethics and Journalism is informed by interviews with top journalists and editors and is written in a clear and accessible style. It includes an exhaustive bibliography as well as an excellent list of relevant web-sites. It will be essential reading for all journalism, media and politics students studying journalism and ethics, as well as for those who already work in the media and are interested in understanding ethical issues. (shrink)
This is not just another media ethics book. Engaging and non-conventional it breaks away from the usual text practice of presenting the ethical theories of well-known philosophers in watered-down form.
Introduction -- What is the current state of media ethics? -- Should telling the truth take precedence over other ethical concerns? -- Should journalists avoid actions that compromise objectivity? -- How have new technologies affected media ethics?
This book combines the insights of a seasoned journalist with those of an expert on philsophical ethics to provide a penetrating and comprehensive guide to the ethics of news reporting. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the role the press plays in influencing social, economic, and political choices in modern society. Drawing on a wealth of real-life cases, The Virtuous Journalist melds for the first time a conceptual analysis of the critical moral problems in journalism with (...) a solid understanding of the constraints and possibilities faced by the print and electronic media. The authors are not First Amendment absolutists but believe nonetheless that, in a democracy, the media should be subjected to minimal legal restraint. They also argue that freedom from legal restraint requires increased moral responsibility. Among the specific topics treated in the book are notions of morality and fairness, journalistic competence, standards of objectivity and accuracy, avoiding bias, avoiding harm, notions of public service, and maintaining public trust. Specific cases discussed include the controversy surrounding the CBS documentary "The Uncounted Enemy" and recent reporting on the AIDS epidemic. (shrink)
Each story is presented as a narrative, so readers can ponder: What would I do if this happened to me? When they've finished the book, they'll feel prepared with an array of theoretical and practical approaches for thinking on their feet.
Introduction -- The history of written codes of ethics -- Contemporary codes -- Media councils in the Western Hemisphere -- Journalists' responsibility for the destiny of peace -- Towards an international code of ethics -- Journalisticethics in Latin America -- The international ethics of journalists.