Category Archives: Weighing Benefits and Harm

Struggling With Ethical Dilemmas and Difficult Choices

Struggling with ethical dilemmas and difficult choices: Resist the temptation to classify every ethical issue as a dilemma, writes Nancy Matchett in an article appearing in the Ethics AdviceLine for Journalists archives.

“When facing a genuine dilemma you are forced, by the circumstances, to do something unethical,” she writes.

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Canada Ponders Ethics of Funding Media

Canada ponders ethics of funding media: Canada’s government proposes to give $595 million to struggling news media, write Heather Rollwagen and Ivor Shapiro.

If Canadian news organizations take government money, do journalists become government servants? they ask, but conclude some financial security will help journalists “remain independent monitors of power.”

 

A Plea For School Shooting Standards

A plea for school shooting standards: Education reporters should lead the way toward newsroom standards for covering shootings at schools, writes Emily Richmond;

“They should ask managers when their news outlets will name perpetrators and how often,” she writes. “They should also ask whether coverage of such an event will use tweets sent by students in lockdown, or share videos and photos from scenes of violence.”

 

High Ethical Standards In Pursuit of News

High ethical standards in pursuit of news: The Center for Journalism
Ethics names ProPublica a finalist for an ethics award.

In telling the story of a high school student trying to escape gang membership, ProPublica did not publish his last name or run photos that might reveal his identity.

 

Ethical Boundaries–Paying For Interviews

Ethical boundaries–paying for interviews: “Reporters working with vulnerable populations, particularly in conflict situations, often face a high-stakes predicament: The job of bearing witness demands of us the highest ethical standards,” writes Annie Hylton. “At the same time, we confront extreme suffering, and even our pocket change might change someone’s circumstances, at least temporarily.”

 

Denying Coverage To Nazis

Denying coverage to Nazis: An Arkansas television station thinks about the news value in covering a Nazi rally, then decides to “give them silence,” writes Al Tompkins.

News director learns the protestors are not local, protesting an issue of no local importance.

 

How Rape Is Covered By News Media

How rape is covered by news media: News reflects rape culture, or local norms toward sexual assault, writes Meg Dalton.

“Rape culture is difficult to measure,” she writes, “but there are a few common characteristics like victim blaming, implying victim consent, questioning victim credibility and empathy for the alleged perpetrator.”