Journalism Ethics

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COM 13500 Introduction to Journalism at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO

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Journalism Ethics

  1. 1. Journalism EthicsCOM 13500 Introduction to Journalism
  2. 2. Today’s Concepts• Libel• False Light• Seven Deadly Sins of Journalism• Journalistic Ethics• SPJ Code of Ethics
  3. 3. “A newspaper‟s core business is integrity. News is not a product like a tire or a paper towel. It is what we journalists say it is. The reader has to believe. A newspaper‟s „brand‟ is trust – trust in its judgment, its independence, its values. That‟s what remains constant. The news changes every day.” -Richard Cohen, Columnist, The Washington Post
  4. 4. Libel: Publication of a false statement that deliberately or carelessly damages someone’s reputation Harrower, p. 144
  5. 5. Invasions of Privacy: False Light• “When you run a story, a photo, a headline, even a photo caption that portrays someone in an inaccurate way – as something he or Caption: “Addicted to alcohol she is not.” – and homeless…” Harrower p. 146
  6. 6. Seven Deadly Sins1. Deception: lying or misrepresenting yourself to obtain information. of Journalism2. Conflict of Interest: accepting gifts or favors from sources or promoting social and political causes.3. Bias: slanting a story by manipulating facts to sway readers’ opinions.4. Fabrication: manufacturing quotes or imaginary sources or writing anything you know to be untrue.5. Theft: obtaining information unlawfully or without a source’s permission.6. Burning a Source: deceiving or betraying the confidence of those who provide information for a story.7. Plagiarism: passing off someone else’s words or ideas as your own. Inside Reporting, Harrower p. 150-151
  7. 7. Code of Ethics: The Society of Professional JournalistsWhy do ethics matter to reporters and news outlets?Inside Reporting, Harrower p. 153

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