Moral Reasoning for Journalists / Edition 2

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Despite the fact that the public's trust in the news media is at historic lows, and despite the fact that hardly a month goes by without another report of unethical behavior by news professionals, journalism professionals and teachers remain dedicated to ethical issues--perhaps more so now than at any other time in history. News companies are developing rigorous codes of conduct; journalists and editors are vigorously reporting on ethical lapses by their peers, and many journalism schools are creating standalone courses in journalism ethics and hiring faculty members who are devoted to ethics research and instruction. This book, which is written primarily for the working (or soon-to-be-working) journalist, serves as an introduction to the underpinnings of journalism ethics, and as a guide for journalists and journalism teachers who are looking for ways to make ethical choices beyond "going with your gut."

Moral Reasoning for Journalists serves the four primary constituencies of journalism ethics: working professionals, journalism students, teachers of journalism, and citizens who are concerned about the morality of the professional news media. Using more than two-dozen actual cases from around the world to examine and apply those principles of ethical journalism, Knowlton and Reader also suggest an easy-to-follow, commonsense approach to making ethical decisions in the newsroom as deadlines loom.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Knowlton (journalism, Hofstra U.) and Reader (journalism, Ohio State U.) have written this guide to journalistic morals and ethics for students and novices who must conform to increasingly tough standards in the industry. Now in its second edition, this book uses case studies to show how journalistic integrity affects professionals, students, teachers and the

public at large. This volume also explains traditional standards of ethical standards in the Western world while examining issues of objectivity vs. bias, fairness and balance, conflicts of interest, the responsibility to inform, verification and attribution, avoiding deception and best practices when it comes to fact-checking."


Reference & Research Book News

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313345500
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/23/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 264
  • Sales rank: 1,216,608
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

STEVEN KNOWLTON is Professor of Journalism at Dublin City University. He has 18 years of professional newspaper experience, and continues to freelance for the New York Times and other major newspapers. He is the author/editor of six books, including the first edition of Moral Reasoning for Journalists, The Journalist's Moral Compass (with Patrick R. Parsons) and most recently (with Karen L. Freeman), Fair and Balanced: A History of Journalistic Objectivity.

BILL READER is Assistant Professor in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, where he teaches journalism reporting, writing, editing, and ethics. He has a decade of professional newspaper experience, most recently as opinion page editor of the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pennsylvania. His research of journalism ethics issues has been published in Newspaper Research Journal and Journal of Mass Media Ethics, and he contributes to trade publications including Quill, The Masthead, and Grassroots Editor.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Jerry Ceppos Ceppos, Jerry

A Note to Our Fellow Journalists

Pt. I Locating Ethical Journalism in the Western Tradition

1 Introduction to Ethical Thinking 3

2 The Political Case for Moral Reasoning in Journalism 17

3 The Philosophical Case for Moral Reasoning in Journalism 28

4 The Economic Case for Moral Reasoning in Journalism 35

5 The Principles of Ethical Journalism 44

6 How to Solve Moral Dilemmas: Balancing Competing Elements 66

Pt. II Case Studies: Tough Calls from the Front Lines of Contemporary Journalism

Objectivity vs. Bias

7 How Close Is Too Close When the Subject Is a Little Girl? 77

8 Keeping Cool When You Get a Hot Quote 84

9 First-Person Journalism: The Challenge of Perspective Fairness and Balance 92

10 The Hostile Interview: What Sets Real Journalism Apart from Fake News? 106

11 A Candidate's Past: News, Political Manipulation, or Mere Pandering? 105

12 When a Journalist Balks at Talking about Journalism in Front of the Camera 111

13 The Graffiti Artists: Turn 'Em In, Get the Story, or Both? 116

Conflicts of Interest

14 When Your Own Newspaper Is in the News 122

15 Primary Authorship: Can You Lie about Your Day Job? 127

Privacy Vs. the Public's Right to Know

16 Private Citizens in the Courts: When to Name Names 133

17 Sex in an Elevator: Legitimate News or Sophomoric Titillation? 138

18 Suicide: Important News or a Grotesque Invasion of Privacy? 143

Sensitivity vs, Responsibility to Inform

19 Offensive Cartoons: Inciting Anger or Inspiring Serious Debate? 153

20 When Journalists Put Themselves in Harm's Way 158

21 The Grisly War Photo: Powerful Information, butWhat about Taste? 164

Avoid Deception

25 The Casting Couch: Is Entrapping a Libidinous Actor Serious News or Simply a Ratings Stunt? 192

26 The Exploding Truck: If It Doesn't Have Pictures, It's Not Good TV 199

27 Is It Okay to Use Deception to Reveal Shady World Politics? 205

Correction and Clarification

28 The Brilliant Student with the Dark Past: How Much Is Relevant in Follow-up Reports? 210

29 Fact-Checking Candidates' Claims on the Busy Campaign Trail 216

Conclusion: What Is a Journalist? 221

Notes 227

Bibliography 231

Index 235

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