Friday, September 06, 2013

When Journalists Start Pursuing, Ethics Too Often Get Left Behind

Interesting read based a bit off of the first chapter of From Milton to McLuhan. 

"Perhaps reporters should follow the advice of the authors of "Doing Ethics in Journalism," a book that helps guide young reporters through ethical decision-making. Its authors suggest that among the questions reporters might ask themselves before taking apart the misdeeds of others is how they (the reporters) would want to be treated if the tables were turned. Surely part of that answer would be: "I'd like to be able to know who my accusers are.""


....J.Michael Robertson said...

Let's see. We've got Rawls "Veil" of Ignorance and Christian love supporting the gentler approach. On the other hand, Hitler loved his dog. Utilitarian ethics suggests its all right to give a source a hard time in service to the news.

....J.Michael Robertson said...

And then I clicked the link! It is probably not ethical to comment before you click the link. Strong example of just the most delicious snark to which sources were not willing to attach their names. It might be important in the story, however, to make clear that people who were in the know did not consider Petraeus' friend a very good student. That's the real point, and one hopes a good reporter could have found a way to document that without the anonymous snark. Maybe you simply say, "Two of her teachers who chose not to share their names said she was not one of their best students." One way out might be paraphrasing and softening.