Journalistic Ethics: Moral Responsibility in the Media / Edition 1

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Overview

We all depend in many ways on accurate, timely news reporting, but is the accuracy of news a given? And how much responsibility does a journalist have for its accuracy?

Journalistic Ethics: Moral Responsibility in the Media examines the moral rights and responsibilities of journalists to provide what Dale Jacquette calls “truth telling in the public interest.” With 31 case studies from contemporary journalistic practice, the book demonstrates the immediate practical implications of ethics for working journalists as well as for those who read or watch the news. This case-study approach is paired with a theoretical grounding, and issues include freedom of the press, censorship and withholding sensitive information for the greater public good, protection of confidential sources, journalistic respect for privacy, objectivity, perspective and bias, and editorial license and its obligations. This is a book for anyone who now works in journalism, or is considering a career as a journalist. It is also important groundwork for everyone who follows the day's events in newspapers, radio, television, or on the internet.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780131825390
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 12/22/2006
  • Series: Basic Ethics in Action Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.89 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

PREFACE

INTRODUCTION: WHAT JOURNALISTS DO

News Information

Moral Rights and Responsibilities

Moral Problems for Journalistic Ethics

Criteria of Professional Ethics

Chapter One

TRUTH TELLING IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST

Truth and its Consequences

Deliberate and Inadvertent Falsehoods

Case Study 1: Newsweek and the Holy Koran at Guantánamo Bay

Case Study 2: Staged Incidents in Dateline NBC Investigative Reporting

Fundamental Principle of Journalistic Ethics

Truth Telling Journalistic Imperatives

Truth as Correspondence with Facts

Practical Truth Criteria and Cross-Checking News Contents

Plagiarism

Moral Integrity and Journalism’s Raison D’eˆtre

Case Study 3: Jayson Blair at the New York Times

Relevance and the Concept of Relevant Truth

Chapter Two

JOURNALISTIC RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Rights and Responsibilities

Legal and Moral Rights

Case Study 4: Right to Publish and Responsibility for News Content

Consequences for Abusing Rights

Case Study 5: Role of Reporters as Responsible Citizens in Criminal Investigations

Relation of Rights and Responsibilities

Origin of Journalistic Rights

Case Study 6: Journalistic Responsibility Versus Detachment

Chapter Three

MORAL IDEALS ANDWORKADAY JOURNALISTIC REALITIES

Moral Ideals

Conflicts of Moral Ideals and Marketplace Realities

Case Study 7: The Jessica Lynch Incident

Two Sides of Professional Journalism

The Midas Touch of Television News

Pros and Cons of the Mass Media Age

Case Study 8: Warehouse Fire and Homeless Shelter Closing

Case Study 9: Governmental Pressures on Journalism in Mexico

Commercialism in the News

Making a Profit in Journalism

Increasing Income from News Reporting

Conflicts with Advertisers over News Content

Moral Choices in Reactions to Advertiser Pressure

Moral Obligations for Journalists to Remain Profitable

Interest Group Influence on News Reporting

Call for Journalists to Stand Firm Against Financial Intimidation

Increasing Journalistic Profits by Reducing Costs

Weakness of Will and the Temptations of Financial Gain

Stealth Advertising

Case Study 10: Strangers Bearing Gifts

Moral Quandaries about “Hidden” Advertising

Product Placement in the News

Chapter Four

FREEDOM OF THE PRESS

Free Press Dilemmas

American Constitutional Protection of Journalistic Freedoms

Case Study 11: Thomas Jefferson on the Importance of a Free Press

Priority of a Free Press in the American Bill of Rights

Case Study 12: U.S. Supreme Court Decisions Concerning Freedom of the Press (Pentagon Papers, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Miami Herald)

Freedom’s Debt to a Free Press and the Pursuit of Truth

Freedom of the Press as the Fourth Estate of a Liberal Democracy

Case Study 13: Freedom of the Press (or Abridgement Thereof) Worldwide (Second International World Press Freedom Ranking, October 2003)

Justification for a Free Press in a Free Society

Challenges to Sustaining a Free Press

Chapter Five

CENSORSHIP AND WITHHOLDING INFORMATION FOR THE GREATER GOOD

Censorship and Journalism’s Mandate

Historical and Philosophical Background

Censorship and Prioritized Journalistic Obligations

Moral Rationale for Journalistic Censorship

Case Study 14: Tomlinson’s Efforts to Control Public Broadcasting

Three Principles for Controlling Censorship

Interdependence of a Free Society and a Free Press–Principle 1

Obligation to Maximize Relevant Truth Telling–Principle 2

Case Study 15: Censorship of the Press in Iraq

Distinguishing Morally Justified Censorship–Principle 3

Voluntary and Involuntary Censorship

Case Study 16: “Censoring” Terrorists by Official Request in a Free Society

Chapter Six

PROTECTION OF CONFIDENTIAL SOURCES

Confidentiality

Privileged Sources of News Information

Moral and Prudential Reasoning

Legal Pressure Against Journalists to Reveal Sources

Standing Firm Against Coercion for a Free Press

Case Study 17: Journalistic Shield Law in American History

Shield Laws and Exceptions to Protection of Confidential Sources

Moral Complications in Observing Confidentiality

Case Study 18: Judith Miller and the CIA Leak

Guidelines for Appeals to Confidentiality

Internal Professional Oversight for Confidential Sources

Censorship and Disclosure of Privileged Sources

Case Study 19: Confidential Information about an Impending Medical Emergency

Balancing Protection of Sources and the Greater Public Good

Chapter Seven

JOURNALISTIC RESPECT FOR PRIVACY

Privacy in a Public World

Constitutional Basis for the Right to Privacy

Moral Value and the Right to Privacy

Case Study 20: Magazine Publication of Private Celebrity Wedding Photographs

Journalistic Obligations to Respect Privacy

Investigative Journalism and the Right to Privacy

Voluntary Disclosure Versus Involuntarily Obtained Information

Slippery Slope Problems in Privacy Determinations

Case Study 21: Investigating the Private Lives of the Families of Public Officials

Choice of Public Life as a Disavowal of Privacy

Celebrityhood and Journalistic Violations of Privacy

Relinquishing Privacy by Acting in a Public Place

Case Study 22: Reporting on Suicide as a Cause of Death

Case Study 23: Paparazzi in the Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed Tragedy

Chapter Eight

OBJECTIVITY, PERSPECTIVE, AND BIAS

An Ideal of Objectivity

Noninvolvement in News Reporting

Case Study 24: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) on Terry Milewski

Embedding Journalists with the Military

Case Study 25: Pentagon Directive for “EMBEDS” in the Second Gulf (Iraq) War

Wartime Reportage

Control, Censorship, and Propaganda Potential for Embedding

Perspective and Orientation in News Reporting

Political and Other Forms of Personal Bias

Case Study 26: Allegations of Liberal Versus Conservative Bias in American Journalism

Interpretation by News Reporters and Consumers

Skepticism, Relativism, and Postmodern Disregard for Truth

Conjecture and Speculation in the News

Case Study 27: 2000 American Presidential Election Coverage

Unscientific Polls and Unsubstantiated Opinions

Chapter Nine

EDITORIAL LICENSE AND OBLIGATIONS

Editorial Opinion

Case Study 28: Ethics of Editorializing in a Free Press

Distinguishing News from Commentary

Fact-Value Gap and the Naturalistic Fallacy

Inferential Version of the Naturalistic Fallacy

Is-Ought Gap and the Distinction Between News and Opinion

Case Study 29: National Conference of Editorial Writers Foundation (NCEW)

Editorial Opinion as News Perspective

Editorial License and Ideological Spin

Professional Ethical Guidelines for Editorialists

Ways of Promoting Editorial Pluralism

Case Study 30: Journalistic Ethics and the Power of Editorial Opinion

Afterword

JOURNALISM AS A FORCE FOR SOCIAL GOOD

News to Change the World

Lessons for Journalistic Ethics

Information High Technology

Historical Background: Twain’s Congo Pamphlet

Media Influencing Popular Opinion

Double Effect of Media Impact on Policy Making

Ideology Implicit in Mass Communications Technology

Appendices

1: SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS–CODE OF ETHICS 282

2: INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF JOURNALISTS–DECLARATION OFPRINCIPLES ON THE CONDUCT OF JOURNALISTS 285

3: ETHICS CODE: ASSOCIATED PRESS MANAGING EDITORS 287

4: CODE OF ETHICS AND PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT OF THERADIO-TELEVISION NEWS DIRECTORS ASSOCIATION 290

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