Journalistic Ethics: Moral Responsibility in the Media / Edition 1

Journalistic Ethics: Moral Responsibility in the Media / Edition 1

by Dale Jacquette
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Taylor & Francis
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Journalistic Ethics: Moral Responsibility in the Media / Edition 1

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 30 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 book is important groundwork for everyone who follows the day's events in newspapers, radio, television, or on the Internet, and it is a must-read for anyone who now works in journalism, or is considering a career as a journalist.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 2900131825399
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 12/22/2006
Series: Basic Ethics in Action Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 312
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

Table of Contents

Preface     xiii
Introduction: What Journalists Do     1
News Information     1
Moral Rights and Responsibilities     3
Moral Problems for Journalistic Ethics     6
Criteria of Professional Ethics     9
Truth Telling in the Public Interest     12
Truth and its Consequences     12
Deliberate and Inadvertent Falsehoods     13
Newsweek and the Holy Koran at Guantanamo Bay     14
Staged Incidents in Dateline NBC Investigative Reporting     17
Fundamental Principle of Journalistic Ethics     19
Truth Telling Journalistic Imperatives     19
Truth as Correspondence with Facts     21
Practical Truth Criteria and Cross-Checking News Contents     23
Plagiarism     24
Moral Integrity and Journalism's Raison D'etre     26
Jayson Blair at the New York Times     27
Relevance and the Concept of Relevant Truth     29
Journalistic Rights and Responsibilities     36
Rights and Responsibilities     36
Legal and Moral Rights     36
Right to Publish and Responsibility for News Content     38
Consequences for Abusing Rights     40
Role of NewsReporters as Responsible Citizens in Criminal Investigations     43
Relation of Rights and Responsibilities     45
Origin of Journalistic Rights     48
Journalistic Responsibility Versus Detachment     52
Moral Ideals and Workaday Journalistic Realities     56
Moral Ideals     56
Conflicts of Moral Ideals and Marketplace Realities     57
The Jessica Lynch Incident     61
Two Sides of Professional Journalism     64
The Midas Touch of Television News     65
Pros and Cons of the Mass Media Age     66
Warehouse Fire and Homeless Shelter Closing     67
Governmental Pressures on Journalism in Mexico     71
Commercialism in the News     73
Making a Profit in Journalism     75
Increasing Income from News Reporting     76
Conflicts with Advertisers over News Content     77
Moral Choices in Reactions to Advertiser Pressure     78
Moral Obligations for Journalists to Remain Profitable     79
Interest Group Influence on News Reporting     80
Call for Journalists to Stand Firm Against Financial Intimidation     81
Increasing Journalistic Profits by Reducing Costs     82
Weakness of Will and the Temptations of Financial Gain     84
Stealth Advertising     85
Strangers Bearing Gifts     85
Moral Quandaries about "Hidden" Advertising     88
Product Placement in the News     90
Freedom of the Press     95
Free Press Dilemmas     95
American Constitutional Protection of Journalistic Freedoms     98
Thomas Jefferson on the Importance of a Free Press     101
Priority of a Free Press in the American Bill of Rights     102
U.S. Supreme Court Decisions Concerning Freedom of the Press (Pentagon Papers, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Miami Herald)     106
Freedom's Debt to a Free Press and the Pursuit of Truth     109
Freedom of the Press as the Fourth Estate of a Liberal Democracy     112
Freedom of the Press (or Abridgement Thereof) Worldwide (Second International World Press Freedom Ranking, October 2003)     115
Justification for a Free Press in a Free Society     118
Challenges to Sustaining a Free Press     119
Censorship and Withholding Information for the Greater Good     126
Censorship and Journalism's Mandate     126
Historical and Philosophical Background     127
Censorship and Prioritized Journalistic Obligations     129
Moral Rationale for Journalistic Censorship     131
Tomlinson's Efforts to Control Public Broadcasting     132
Three Principles for Controlling Censorship     134
Interdependence of a Free Society and a Free Press-Principle 1     135
Obligation to Maximize Relevant Truth Telling-Principle 2     136
Censorship of the Press in Iraq     140
Distinguishing Morally Justified Censorship-Principle 3     147
Voluntary and Involuntary Censorship     149
"Censoring" Terrorists by Official Request in a Free Society     150
Protection of Confidential Sources     155
Confidentiality     155
Privileged Sources of News Information     156
Moral and Prudential Reasoning     157
Legal Pressure Against Journalists to Reveal Sources     158
Standing Firm Against Coercion for a Free Press     159
Journalistic Shield Law in American History     160
Shield Laws and Exceptions to Protection of Confidential Sources     162
Moral Complications in Observing Confidentiality     163
Judith Miller and the CIA Leak     165
Guidelines for Appeals to Confidentiality     167
Internal Professional Oversight for Confidential Sources     171
Censorship and Disclosure of Privileged Sources     172
Confidential Information about an Impending Medical Emergency     173
Balancing Protection of Sources and the Greater Public Good     174
Journalistic Respect for Privacy     178
Privacy in a Public World     178
Constitutional Basis for the Right to Privacy     178
Moral Value and the Right to Privacy     179
Magazine Publication of Private Celebrity Wedding Photographs     184
Journalistic Obligations to Respect Privacy     186
Investigative Journalism and the Right to Privacy     187
Voluntary Disclosure Versus Involuntarily Obtained Information     188
Slippery Slope Problems in Privacy Determinations     190
Investigating the Private Lives of the Families of Public Officials     190
Choice of Public Life as a Disavowal of Privacy     192
Celebrityhood and Journalistic Violations of Privacy     195
Relinquishing Privacy by Acting in a Public Place     196
Reporting on Suicide as a Cause of Death     200
Paparazzi in the Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed Tragedy     204
Objectivity, Perspective, and Bias     208
An Ideal of Objectivity     208
Noninvolvement in News Reporting     209
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) on Terry Milewski     215
Embedding Journalists with the Military     216
Pentagon Directive for "Embeds" in the Second Gulf (Iraq) War     217
Wartime Reportage     219
Control, Censorship, and Propaganda Potential for Embedding     222
Perspective and Orientation in News Reporting     226
Political and Other Forms of Personal Bias     227
Allegations of Liberal Versus Conservative Bias in American Journalism     228
Interpretation by News Reporters and Consumers     231
Skepticism, Relativism, and Postmodern Disregard for Truth     232
Conjecture and Speculation in the News     235
2000 American Presidential Election Coverage     236
Unscientific Polls and Unsubstantiated Opinions     238
Editorial License and Obligations     244
Editorial Opinion     244
Ethics of Editorializing in a Free Press     245
Distinguishing News from Commentary     247
Fact-Value Gap and the Naturalistic Fallacy     248
Inferential Version of the Naturalistic Fallacy     252
Is-Ought Gap and the Distinction Between News and Opinion     254
National Conference of Editorial Writers Foundation (NCEW)      256
Editorial Opinion as News Perspective     258
Editorial License and Ideological Spin     259
Professional Ethical Guidelines for Editorialists     261
Ways of Promoting Editorial Pluralism     263
Journalistic Ethics and the Power of Editorial Opinion     264
Afterword: Journalism as a Force for Social Good     268
News to Change the World     268
Lessons for Journalistic Ethics     272
Information High Technology     273
Historical Background: Twain's Congo Pamphlet     274
Media Influencing Popular Opinion     277
Double Effect of Media Impact on Policy Making     278
Ideology Implicit in Mass Communications Technology     279
Society of Professional Journalists-Code of Ethics     282
International Federation of Journalists-Declaration of Principles on the Conduct of Journalists     285
Ethics Code: Associated Press Managing Editors     287
Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct of the Radio-Television News Directors Association     289
Further Reading     292
Index     297

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