ABC-CLIO

Moral Reasoning for Journalists, 2nd Edition

by Steven Knowlton, Bill Reader

 

This volume is an introduction to the underpinnings of journalism ethics, and a guide for journalists and journalism teachers looking for ways to form consistent and informed ethical decisions

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Cover image for Moral Reasoning for Journalists

December 2008

Praeger

Pages 264
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Popular Culture/Media, Television, and Radio
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Despite the fact that the public's trust in the news media is at historic lows, despite the fact that hardly a day goes by without another report of unethical behavior by news professionals, journalists 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. Using more than two-dozen actual cases from around the world to examine and apply those principles of ethical journalism, Knowlton and Reader suggest an easy-to-follow, commonsense approach to making ethical decisions in the newsroom as deadlines loom. Moral Reasoning for Journalists serves as an introduction to the underpinnings of journalism ethics, and as a guide for journalists and journalism teachers looking for ways to make ethical choices beyond going with your gut.

Highlights

  • 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.
Table of Contents

ForewordPrefaceA Note to Our Fellow JournalistsPart I. Locating Ethical Journalism in the Western Tradition1. Introduction to Ethical Thinking2. The Political Case for Moral Reasoning in Journalism3. The Philosophical Case for Moral Reasoning in Journalism4. The Economic Case for Moral Reasoning in Journalism5. The Principles of Ethical Journalism6. Solving Moral Dilemmas on Deadline: Balancing Competing ElementsPart II. Case Studies: The Principles in Play on the Front Lines7. Objectivity vs. Bias: How Close Is Too Close When The Subject Is A Little Girl?8. Objectivity vs. Bias: Keeping Cool When You Get a Hot Quote9. Objectivity vs. Bias: A Reporter With AIDS Depth of Understanding or Obvious Bias10. Fairness and Balance: The hostile interview: What Sets 'Real' Journalism Apart from 'Fake' News11. Fairness and Balance: A Candidate's Past12. Fairness and Balance: When A Journalist Balks at ...13. Conflict of Interest: The Graffiti Artists: Turn 'Em In, Get the Story, Or Both?14. Conflicts of Interest: When your own newspaper is in the news15. Conflicts of Interest: Primary Authorship: Can You Lie about Your Day Job?16. Privacy vs. The Public's Right to Know: Private Citizens in the Courts: When to Name Names17. Privacy vs. The Public's Right to Know: Sex in an Elevator: Legitimate News or Sophomoric Titillation?18. Privacy vs. The Public's Right to Know: Suicide: Important News or a Grotesque Invasion of Privacy?19. Sensitivity vs. Responsibility to Inform: Offensive Cartoons: Inciting Anger or Inspiring Serious Debate?20. Sensitivity vs. Responsibility to Inform: When journalists put themselves in harms way21. Sensitivity vs. Responsibility to Inform: The Grisly War Photo: Powerful Information, but What about Taste?22. Verification and Attribution: 'Memogate': The Reporting Scandal that Trumped the Real Story23. Verification and Attribution: Anonymous sources from Deep Throat to the Clinton-Lewinski affair24. Verification and Attribution: Anonymity in Feedback from the Public How 'Open' Should Forums Be?25. Avoid Deception: The Casting Couch: Is entrapping a libidinous actor serious news or simply a ratings stunt?26. Avoid Deception: Is It OK to Use Deception to Reveal Shady World Politics?27. Correction and Clarification: The Brilliant Student with A Dark Past: How Much is Relevant In Follow-up Reports?28. Correction and Clarification: Fact-checking Candidates' Claims on the Campaign TrailConclusion: What is a Journalist?Bibliography

Reviews/Endorsements

Reviews

"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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