The JOURNALIST’S CODE A Lecture on Ethics & Proper Conduct
The FOUR RULES OF JOURNALISM <ul><li>Seek the truth and report it. </li></ul><ul><li>Minimize harm. </li></ul><ul><li>Act ...
SEEK THE TRUTH AND REPORT IT. <ul><li>DO NOT plagiarize. </li></ul><ul><li>DO report accurately. Never distort the truth. ...
The JAYSON BLAIR AFFAIR <ul><li>This embattled journalist became the unfortunate face of plagiarism in the news world. </l...
THE DON IMUS INCIDENT <ul><li>In 2007, Don Imus,  </li></ul><ul><li>a famous radio talk show host, called the Rutgers’ lad...
THE ZODIAC KILLER QUANDARY <ul><li>The Zodiac Killer was a serial killer who murdered people in Northern California in the...
THE VIRGINIA TECH MURDERS <ul><li>On April 16, 2007,  a Virginia Tech student took the lives of 32 people and wounded many...
THE armstroNG WILLIAMS SCANDAL <ul><li>In 2005, Pres. Bush paid conservative talk show host Armstrong Williams $240,000 to...
HYPOTHETICALLY SPEAKING... <ul><li>When is it okay to play sound bites that may offend some? </li></ul><ul><li>When is it ...
Ethics Lecture
Ethics Lecture
Ethics Lecture
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Ethics Lecture

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The Society of Professional journalists outlines four major rules of engagement for ethical journalists. This lecture discusses the code of ethics, and when it may need to be broken.

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Transcript of "Ethics Lecture"

  1. 1. The JOURNALIST’S CODE A Lecture on Ethics & Proper Conduct
  2. 2. The FOUR RULES OF JOURNALISM <ul><li>Seek the truth and report it. </li></ul><ul><li>Minimize harm. </li></ul><ul><li>Act independently. </li></ul><ul><li>Be accountable. </li></ul><ul><li>Source: Society of Professional Journalists </li></ul>
  3. 3. SEEK THE TRUTH AND REPORT IT. <ul><li>DO NOT plagiarize. </li></ul><ul><li>DO report accurately. Never distort the truth. </li></ul><ul><li>DO give subjects a chance to respond to allegations. </li></ul><ul><li>DO NOT stage news events. </li></ul><ul><li>DO identify sources whenever feasible. </li></ul><ul><li>DO support the open exchange of all views. </li></ul><ul><li>DO NOT use undercover methods of newsgatherings. </li></ul><ul><li>DO give voice to the voiceless. </li></ul><ul><li>DO NOT stereotype subjects. </li></ul><ul><li>DO avoid blurring lines between advertising and news. </li></ul>
  4. 4. The JAYSON BLAIR AFFAIR <ul><li>This embattled journalist became the unfortunate face of plagiarism in the news world. </li></ul><ul><li>He was, at one time, a top reporter at The New York Times . </li></ul><ul><li>He resigned May 2003. </li></ul><ul><li>Blair has admitted to a drug problem. Would you have fired him? </li></ul>
  5. 5. THE DON IMUS INCIDENT <ul><li>In 2007, Don Imus, </li></ul><ul><li>a famous radio talk show host, called the Rutgers’ lady basketball team, “Nappy headed ho’s.” </li></ul><ul><li>CBS fired him. </li></ul><ul><li>Soon, he got his job back, and hired an African American woman to be his co-host. </li></ul><ul><li>Was it right for media outlets to play his soundbite, even though it was truthful? Take a listen. </li></ul>
  6. 6. MINIMIZE HARM. <ul><li>DO show compassion for people who may be affected adversely by your coverage, especially children. </li></ul><ul><li>DO NOT violate people’s privacy. </li></ul><ul><li>DO exercise sensitivity when seeking or using interviews or photographs of those affected by tragedy or grief. </li></ul><ul><li>DO recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort to subjects. Use tact. </li></ul><ul><li>DO use caution about identifying juvenile suspects or sex crime victims. </li></ul><ul><li>DO be judicious about naming criminal suspects before the formal filing of charges. </li></ul><ul><li>DO balance a criminal suspect’s fair trial rights with the public’s right to be informed. </li></ul>
  7. 7. THE ZODIAC KILLER QUANDARY <ul><li>The Zodiac Killer was a serial killer who murdered people in Northern California in the 1960s. </li></ul><ul><li>His identity remains unknown. </li></ul><ul><li>The Zodiac taunted the press in letters. His letters included four cryptograms, three of which remain unsolved. </li></ul><ul><li>At the time, the press was unsure of whether it was ethical to publish the cryptograms. </li></ul>
  8. 8. THE VIRGINIA TECH MURDERS <ul><li>On April 16, 2007, a Virginia Tech student took the lives of 32 people and wounded many others on campus. </li></ul><ul><li>The massacre was the deadliest shooting incident by a single gunman in United States history, on or off a school campus. </li></ul><ul><li>Immediately after the killings, a tape featuring the gunman surfaced. Would you have aired it? </li></ul>
  9. 9. ACT INDEPENDENTLY. <ul><li>DO avoid conflicts of interest. </li></ul><ul><li>DO NOT accept gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment. </li></ul><ul><li>DO remain free of associations and activities that may damage your credibility. </li></ul><ul><li>DO NOT bid on news. Beware of sources offering information for favors or money. </li></ul><ul><li>DO disclose unavoidable conflicts. </li></ul><ul><li>DO hold those with power accountable. </li></ul>
  10. 10. THE armstroNG WILLIAMS SCANDAL <ul><li>In 2005, Pres. Bush paid conservative talk show host Armstrong Williams $240,000 to endorse the No Child Left Behind Act. </li></ul><ul><li>Williams called the decision “bad judgment.” </li></ul><ul><li>His newspaper column and show were dropped. </li></ul><ul><li>Source: Washington Post </li></ul><ul><li>“Administration Paid Commentator” </li></ul>
  11. 11. Be accouNtable. <ul><li>Clarify and explain news coverage. </li></ul><ul><li>Invite dialogue with the public. </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage the public to voice grievances against the news media. </li></ul><ul><li>Admit mistakes. Correct them promptly. </li></ul><ul><li>Expose unethical practices of the media. </li></ul>
  12. 12. HYPOTHETICALLY SPEAKING... <ul><li>When is it okay to play sound bites that may offend some? </li></ul><ul><li>When is it okay to air or write potentially sensitive information? </li></ul><ul><li>When might it be okay to accept payment for a news story? </li></ul><ul><li>How can we hold the media accountable for their ethical decisions? </li></ul>

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