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  1. 1. Journalism Ethics, Decency, and White Lies
  2. 2. Ethics <ul><li>Always seek the truth and report it. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a. In order to do this a journalist should: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>i. Test the accuracy of the information from all sources </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ii. Seek out subjects of news stories and give them the opportunity to respond to allegations of wrongdoing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>iii. Identify a source whenever feasible. The public is entitled to this information as possible on sources’ reliability. ( in some cases exclude the name of the victim or that of children – privacy rights/ emotional situations) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>iv. Always question a sources’ motive . People can be deceiving </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>v. Nothing can be misrepresented. Make sure you check over every detail . </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>vi. Never plagiarize – you will not have a good reputation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>vii. Support the open exchange of views: never present yourself as being biased. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>viii. Examine values to ensure they fit with society </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ix. Avoid any stereotyping </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Give a voice to the voiceless , it’s the most powerful thing you can do </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Ethics (cont’d) <ul><li>Minimize Harm – everyone should be treated as a human being and deserves respect </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>a. A journalist should: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>i. Show compassion to those affected by news coverage, especially stories involving children. You will gain more respect if you put your heart into it. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ii. Be sensitive when interviewing or showing pictures affected by tragedy or grief </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>iii. Be cautious about identifying juvenile suspects of victims of sex crimes. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Show good taste to what it is that you are writing about </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Ethics (cont’d) <ul><li>Act Independently – Journalist should be free from obligation to any interest other than the public’s right to know </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>a. A Journalist should: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>i. Avoid conflicts of interest </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ii. Remain free of associations and activities that may question or damage credibility </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>iii. Refuse favors, gifts, freebies </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Be Accountable </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>a. Journalists Should: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>i. Clarify and explain news coverage </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ii. Encourage the public to get involved </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>iii. Admit mistakes and correct them promptly </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Abide by the same high standards to which they hold others </li></ul>
  5. 5. Ethics (cont’d) <ul><li>· Covering stories like suicide, molestation and stories involving disabilities or mental illnesses should always be done in a sensitive manner. </li></ul><ul><li>· You don’t want to say or do anything that will upset the family of the victim so it is always better to better respectful towards them and the pain they might be suffering. </li></ul><ul><li>· When covering a story like something in the times of KKK it is tough to stay unbiased. You must deliver the facts about the group. </li></ul><ul><li>· All and all when covering any kind of story you should hold high morals and just do what society thinks is appropriate for certain topics. </li></ul>
  6. 6. And Now for something completely different <ul><li>Kent Brockman Reports on the real media. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>17:45 </li></ul>
  7. 7. Decency <ul><li>Does a reporter's job take human decency into account? </li></ul><ul><li>Decency- </li></ul><ul><li>1. The State or quality of being decent; propriety. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Conformity to prevailing standards of propriety or modesty </li></ul><ul><li>A reporter is someone who researches and then presents information to the community that it is involved in. In the information age people getting paid to deliver the information that we want will do whatever they can to retrieve it . If this requires prying into peoples lives for it than that is what will happen. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Decency (cont’d) <ul><li>A couple additional questions must be taken into consideration when answering this question regarding human decency: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Who is being reported on? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If it is a celebrity, the details will be pushed for and that persons privacy will be invaded . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If it is a young or innocent character .it seems as though they will be treated with a little more respect . </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Celebrities vs. Children <ul><li>There is a certain amount of scrutiny involved with people who have more attention drawn to them depending on their profession. For instance everyone knows about Michael Jackson's death. Journalist reported on every detail of his death including how his body was transported from the memorial to the cemetery without being noticed. (It left in a S.W.A.T. Van and was driven to a secret location to meet up with a Forest Lawn van). </li></ul>However certain steps are taken in order to keep certain types of people separated from the story. For instance, in a recent article about a pregnant 10 year old girl in Mexico the only thing mentioned about her personal life was the fact that she lives in Quintana Roo, her name was withheld as well as those involved.
  10. 10. What is being reported on? <ul><li>If it is something that has to do with the community in which the news is reporting to the network tends to have the greater good in mind. </li></ul><ul><li>If it is something that is linked to the network (i.e. if a bigger corporation owns the network) the network tends to report on what their interest would be. </li></ul><ul><li>We all know about the fact that a volcano went off in Iceland and shadowed Eastern Europe in a cloud of ash. In these stories that are delivered by every news syndicate that there is they seem to be mostly concerned with aviation and the damage after the volcano </li></ul><ul><li>On the other hand as we spoke about in class General Electric happens to be a big company that owns several small companies. One of the &quot;smaller&quot; companies owned by GE is NBC. On the MSNBC website, if you type General Electric in the search engine what you find is exactly what you'd expect. The top article as of Tuesday April 20, had a very interesting promotion for general electric about three quarters of the way down: </li></ul><ul><li>...General Electric Aircraft Engines has taken the lead in a government and industry program, which began this weekend, to assess the ability of jet engines to operate with ash. A spokeswoman for G.E., Deborah Case, said that the company was “reviewing past engine experiences with volcanic ash” to see how they performed and what level of damage was sustained. Ms. Case was not able to say when G.E. expected to have results from its review. </li></ul><ul><li>In the midst of this terrible atrocity somehow MSNBC found a way to promote it's parent company . </li></ul>
  11. 11. Columbine and Virginia Tech Both Columbine and Virginia Tech were tragedies that were covered by many journalist. With constant coverage online and in newspapers the journalists must be understanding with the family and loved ones watching.
  12. 12. How do reporters approach stories like the Columbine or Virginia Tech massacres? <ul><li>Journalist must: </li></ul><ul><li>-understand the effects of frequent exposure to traumatic events on their own lives </li></ul><ul><li>-Learning the entire history of the shooter; including motives, and warning signs </li></ul><ul><li>-Interview all witnesses, while respecting the effects of emotional injury </li></ul><ul><li>-Provide accurate information </li></ul>
  13. 13. Justified? <ul><li>A journalist should always use the facts when writing a story. I believe downplaying a story for the better of the community can be justified in some cases, but is not good journalism. A journalist should never mislead the reader. </li></ul><ul><li>An example of this is when a sports writer downplays an injury of their own sports team. Many writers do this because it keeps the moral of the local sports community up, and keeps people hopeful. However this differs from case to case . </li></ul><ul><li>What do you think? </li></ul>