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Moral Reasoning for Journalists

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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

Table of Contents

Foreword Preface A Note to Our Fellow Journalists Part I. Locating Ethical Journalism in the Western Tradition 1. Introduction to Ethical Thinking 2. The Political Case for Moral Reasoning in Journalism 3. The Philosophical Case for Moral Reasoning in Journalism 4. The Economic Case for Moral Reasoning in Journalism 5. The Principles of Ethical Journalism 6. Solving Moral Dilemmas on Deadline: Balancing Competing Elements Part II. Case Studies: The Principles in Play on the Front Lines 7. 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 Quote 9. Objectivity vs. Bias: A Reporter With AIDS Depth of Understanding or Obvious Bias 10. Fairness and Balance: The hostile interview: What Sets 'Real' Journalism Apart from 'Fake' News 11. Fairness and Balance: A Candidate's Past 12. 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 news 15. 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 Names 17. 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 way 21. 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 Story 23. Verification and Attribution: Anonymous sources from Deep Throat to the Clinton-Lewinski affair 24. 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 Trail Conclusion: What is a Journalist? Bibliography

About the Author

Steven Knowlton is Professor of Journalism at Dublin City University. He has 18 years of professional newspaper experience, and continues to freelance for the New York Times and other major newspapers. He is the author/editor of six books, including the first edition of Moral Reasoning for Journalists, The Journalist's Moral Compass (with Patrick R. Parsons) and most recently (with Karen L. Freeman), Fair and Balanced: A History of Journalistic Objectivity. Bill Reader is Assistant Professor in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, where he teaches journalism reporting, writing, editing, and ethics. He has a decade of professional newspaper experience, most recently as opinion page editor of the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pennsylvania. His research of journalism ethics issues has been published in Newspaper Research Journal and Journal of Mass Media Ethics, and he contributes to trade publications including Quill, The Masthead, and Grassroots Editor.


"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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