The Ethics of the Story: Using Narrative Techniques Responsibly in Journalism / Edition 1

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Overview

The best journalists are masters at their craft. With a comma and a colon, a vivid verb and a colorful adjective, they not only convey important information but also create a sense of place and evoke powerful emotions. A compelling story can shape_for good or ill_the way a reader understands people, events, and issues. The Ethics of the Story examines the ethical implications of narrative techniques commonly used in journalism, not just literary journalism but also news and feature writing. The book draws on interviews with 60 talented journalists, including Pulitzer Prize winners, to offer practical advice about ethical choices in writing and editing. Much has been written about journalism ethics, but the discussion has often focused on spectacularly bad decisions_such as Jayson Blair's and Jack Kelley's use of fraudulent narrative_rather than the ethical dimension of day-to-day choices about the building blocks of journalistic storytelling. The Ethics of the Story fills a gap in current work on ethics, writing, and editing. It will enlighten any serious wordsmith with a story to tell.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
Arguing that powerful forces tempt journalists to stray from the best possible version of the truth, Craig devotes chapters to storytelling with anecdotes; how description and attribution can lead to a perceived bias or confusion over the source of the information; how to quote and when paraphrasing is acceptable; choosing words, assigning labels, and the inevitability of bias; the dangers of interpreting and analyzing the story; and the choice and dangers of voice....Recommended.
CHOICE
Arguing that powerful forces tempt journalists to stray from the best possible version of the truth, Craig devotes chapters to storytelling with anecdotes; how description and attribution can lead to a perceived bias or confusion over the source of the information; how to quote and when paraphrasing is acceptable; choosing words, assigning labels, and the inevitability of bias; the dangers of interpreting and analyzing the story; and the choice and dangers of voice....Recommended.
Roy Peter Clark
David Craig makes an important contribution to the study of media ethics. He reminds us that all stories have moral dimensions; that the best journalists tell stories with care in the public interest; and that good or bad can come from the choice of a single word.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742537774
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/28/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 226
  • Product dimensions: 6.16 (w) x 9.08 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Meet the Author

David Craig is associate professor of journalism at the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction: Ethics Paragraph by Paragraph Chapter 2 1 The Power and Ethics of the Story Chapter 3 2 Anecdotes Chapter 4 3 Description and Attribution Chapter 5 4 Quotes and Paraphrasing Chapter 6 5 Word Choice, Labeling, and Bias Chapter 7 6 Interpretation and Analysis Chapter 8 7 Voice Chapter 9 8 The Big Picture Chapter 10 References

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