Custodians of Conscience: Investigative Journalism and Public Virtue / Edition 1

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Overview

This book is the culmination of more than a decade of research and writing on the nature of investigative journalism as a form of social and moral inquiry. Focusing on the work of a number of award-winning investigative reporters, James S. Ettema and Theodore L. Glasser punctuate their analysis of news and journalism with interviews with these writers and excerpts from their stories. Custodians of Conscience provides a powerful assessment and critique of the tensions and contradictions that characterize modern American journalism. It is a book that honors the rigor and importance of investigative journalism by showing how facts implicate values and by explaining why the future of news requires a deeper appreciation for the connection between human knowledge and human interest.

Columbia University Press

Winner, 1998 Bart Richards Award for Media Criticism, 1998 Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi Award for Excellence in Journalism (Research About Journalism Category), 1998 Frank Luther Mott-Kappa Tau Alpha Research Award

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Editorial Reviews

The Philadelphia Inquirer - Carlin Romano
The most thoughtful book in years about the intellectual assumptions behind investigative journalism.... It's hard to imagine any journalist who wouldn't do investigative reporting more thoughtfully, or any citizen who wouldn't read it more insightfully, after this two-teacher seminar.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
The most thoughtful book in years about the intellectual assumptions behind investigative journalism.... It's hard to imagine any journalist who wouldn't do investigative reporting more thoughtfully, or any citizen who wouldn't read it more insightfully, after this two-teacher seminar.

— Carlin Romano

Steve Weinberg
The authors let readers in on lots of craft talk-how investigative journalism is conducted, why it happens, what impact it has on the larger society. They demonstrate that investigative journalists simultaneously validate and shake up the prevailing social order.
Bill Kovach
At a time when a revolution in communications technology and the economics by which it is organized is radically changing journalism and causing journalists to question their traditional standards and values, along come James Ettema and Theodore Glasser to begin a conversation that could lead to a new rhetoric for a powerful new journalism of the future. Carefully reported, analyzed, and argued, this is an important book that has to be read by anyone concerned for a self governing society and the future of a journalism which truly serves the public interest.
Carlin Romano
The most thoughtful book in years about the intellectual assumptions behind investigative journalism. . . . It's hard to imagine any journalist who wouldn't do investigative reporting more thoughtfully, or any citizen who wouldn't read it more insightfully, after this two-teacher seminar.
James W. Carey
The most important book about journalism to be published in years. Journalists, students, and teachers can here experience more intensely the triumphs of investigative reporting and the moral ambiguities of the craft. This book marries the stylistic grace of good journalism with the penetrating insight of sound scholarship. It pays journalism the highest compliment by taking it seriously, and is sure to be a touchstone volume in its field.
Booknews
Based on interviews with investigative journalists from major metropolitan newspapers, this ethnographic examination of the art of reporting constructs an understanding of what reporters do in a wider societal context. The process of investigating and framing a story is discussed and how that process relates to the role of community morality is explored. Paper edition (unseen), $20.00. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231106757
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 5/13/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,308,465
  • Lexile: 1390L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

JAMES S. ETTEMA is on the faculty of the Department of Communication Studies at Northwestern University. He is the editor, with D. Charles Whitney, of Individuals in Mass Media Organizations: Creativity and Constraint and Audience Making: How the Media Created the Audience.THEODORE L. GLASSER is a director of the Graduate Program in Journalism at Stanford University. He is the editor of the Idea of Public Journalism and, with Charles T. Salmon, Public Opinion and the Communication of Consent.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 Introduction: The Reporter's Craft as Moral Discourse 1
2 In Search of Skills Not Taught in Textbooks 17
3 The Paradox of the Disengaged Conscience 61
4 The Irony of Irony-in-Journalism 85
5 The Morality of Narrative Form 111
6 The Intimate Interdependence of Fact and Value 131
7 Journalistic Judgment and the Reporter's Responsibility 155
8 The Value(s) of News 183
Notes 203
Bibliography 219
Index 227
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