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Ethics in Media
Midterm 1
40
Journalism
02/26/2012

Additional Journalism Flashcards

 


 

Cards

Term
Purpose of ethics
Definition

 

Highlight major principles/values of the profession

 

Provide guidelines for acceptable practices

 

Term
Limitations of ethics codes
Definition

 

¨Sometimes they are very general and don’t provide guidance for specific situations.

 

¨Often unenforceable

 

Term
Morals and laws
Definition

 

¨Morals:  principles spelled out in the various texts of religions

 

¨Law:  rules passed by leaders of society with specific consequences for disobedience

 

Term
Aristotle
Definition

 

 
 
 
 
Golden Mean:
¨Virtue lies at the mean between two extremes.

 

¨However, some actions don’t have a middle state and are inherently bad.

 

Murder, adultery, theft, plagiarism

 

Term
Aristotle example
Definition

 

¨In journalism, the sensational or extreme is discouraged and principles of balance, fairness and equal time are recognized.

 

¨Example:  In deciding whether to ban or allow all tobacco advertising, the FTC chose a middle ground:  It banned cigarette ads from TV and placed warning labels on packages.

 

Term
Immanuel Kant
Definition

 

¨Believed there are higher truths superior to human’s limited ability to reason.

 

¨These truths are found through conscience.

 

¨Benevolence and truth-telling are always right.

 

¨Focuses on the act, not the actor.

 

Term
Kant's categorical imperative
Definition

 

¨The test of a moral act is its universality.

 

¨Categorical = unconditional

 

Thus, you do not consider situational factors or possible consequences.

 

An ethical standard should be applied uniformly to everyone.

 

Term
Kant's application to media
Definition

 

¨Journalists cannot lie or invade someone’s right to privacy to get a story.

 

So, deceptive undercover reporting is wrong.

 

¨Deception by advertisers to sell a product is always wrong.

 

¨Dishonesty in public relations is never right even if telling the truth hurts the company’s reputation.

 

Term
John Stuart Mill
Definition

 

¨Believed that preventing pain and promoting pleasure are the main ethical goals.

 

¨No one’s happiness is any more valuable than anyone else’s.

 

¨Focuses not on the actor or action, but on the consequences.

 

Term
Mill's principles of utility
Definition

 

¨Seek the greatest good for the greatest number of people.

 

Known as utilitarianism.

 

Term
Mill's application to media
Definition

 

¨A news story that hurts some people is acceptable if it does more people good.

 

¨It’s acceptable to lie to get a story if it results in the greater good for society.

 

Term
William David Ross
Definition

 

¨20th century American philosopher

 

¨Believed there is often more than one ethical value to be considered in a situation

 

¨Differs from other philosophers who believe there is only one ultimate value

 

¨Focuses more on the actor, who must chose among the options

 

Term
Ross' pluralistic theory of value
Definition

 

 

¨Competing ethical values are called duties
Fidelity: based on past promises
Reparation:  based on previous wrongful acts

 

Gratitude:  based on previous acts of others

 

Justice: necessary to ensure equitable distribution of good

 

Beneficence:  based on need to help others

 

Self-improvement: based on need to help self

 

Prevention:  duty to not injure others

 

Veracity:  to tell the truth

 

Nurture:  to help others achieve self-worth

 

 

 

 

Term
Ross' application to media
Definition

 

¨Works well for media professionals who must balance competing roles

 

¨PR person who wants to tell the truth but also wants to minimize harm to organization

 

Must consider which is the primary duty

 

¨Often difficult to apply, but reflects real-world decision making

 

Term
John Rawls
Definition

 

¨Contemporary American philosopher

 

¨Believed fairness is the fundamental part of justice

 

¨Fairness can be measured

 

Everyone should be given the same amount without any type of arbitrary distinction

 

Term
Rawl's veil of ignorance
Definition

 

¨All parties should be treated the same, regardless of station in life.

 

¨Race, gender, socio-economic conditions disappear.

 

¨Distribution of everything else should be inequal only if this will benefit the least advantaged party.

 

Because under the veil, you might be the least advantaged.

 

Term
Rawl's application to media
Definition

 

¨All people should be treated the same, regardless of celebrity, status

 

¨Reporting on public acts is permissible, but only to the extent that it benefits all

 

¨Don’t assume all politicians are liars, but also don’t assume they are experts

 

Term
Communitarianism
Definition

 

¨Provides ethical guidance when confronting society-wide issues.

 

¨Social justice is the main moral value.

 

¨Moves away from traditional emphasis on the individual to focus on the local community

 

¨

 

Term
Communitarianism's relation to media
Definition

 

¨Rationale for civic journalism movement

 

¨News = what the community needs to improve itself

 

¨Media should not compete, but should work together

 

¨Favors a stronger role for public relations

 

Term
The Bok model
Definition

 

¨Developed by philosopher Sissela Bok

 

¨A decision-making model

 

¨Based on two premises:

 

We must have empathy for the people involved in ethical decisions.

 

Maintaining social trust is a fundamental goal.

 

Term
Bok's three steps
Definition

 

¨First, consult your own conscience about the appropriateness of an action.
¨First, consult your own conscience about the appropriateness of an action.
¨Third, conduct a discussion with the parties involved in the dispute.

 

Term
Definitions of truth
Definition

 

¨These have changed over time.

 

¨One of the earliest definitions of truth was based on memory.

 

¨Truth was represented by the Greek word alethea, which included all that people remember.

 

¨This was because culture was passed on orally.

 

Truth is what was handed down.

 

Term
truth after the enlightenment
Definition

 

¨Next came the correspondence notion of truth:  truth should correspond to some external set of facts. 

 

¨Truth has substance, is verifiable.

 

¨Truth is perceived by the actual senses, which are harnessed through the intellect.

 

¨Truth is the same universally.

 

Term
truth related to journalism
Definition

 

¨This notion of truth is the basis of the journalistic ideal of objectivity.

 

¨Objectivity:  being able to determine fact from opinion.  Being unbiased.  Being fair.  Being detached.

 

¨This allowed journalists to “clean up their act” from yellow journalism and partisan periods.

 

Term
Liberterian view of the press
Definition

 

¨Man is rational and can determine truth.

 

¨The goal of the press is to present information, unimpeded by government

 

¨The marketplace of ideas

 

¨The basis for the First Amendment and our privately owned press system

 

Term
Ethical news values
Definition

accuracy and confirmation

tenacity and sufficiency

dignity and reciprocity

equity

community

diversity

 

Term
St. Paul Press and the U. of Minnesota
Definition

 

¨They uncovered widespread cheating, including four current players.

 

¨The paper published its findings    the day before the Gophers were to play Gonzaga in  the first round of the  NCAA tournament.

 

Term
Alvaro Castillo case
Definition

 

¨19-year-old Hillsborough resident who killed his father and went on a shooting spree on the Orange County High School campus.

 

¨No one was killed, but there were injuries.

 

¨Castillo made a videotape of himself describing his actions and sent it to the News & Observer just before the shootings.

 

¨2009: found guilty and sentenced to life without parole

 

¨

 

Term
Virginia Tech Shootings
Definition

 

April 2007

 

Gunman Cho Seung-Hui, a 23-year-old senior English major, killed 32 people at Va Tech before killing himself

 

He mailed a video, photos and a written “manifesto” to NBC News on the day of the shootings

 

Term
VNR
Definition

 

¨A high-quality news story usually 1-3 minutes long, produced by PR professionals and made available to TV news stations or news websites

 

¨They come with a script that allows the TV station to localize the piece with local talent

 

¨Paid for or sponsored by corporate interests or government agencies

 

¨

 

Term
Definitions of privacy
Definition

 

¨The term is not in the Constitution, but courts have recognized the right to privacy.

 

¨Legal guards on privacy:

 

Intrusion upon a person’s seclusion, solitude or private affairs.

 

Public disclosure of embarrassing private facts.

 

Publicity that places a person in a false light.

 

Misappropriation of a person’s name or likeness for personal advantage.

 

 

Term
allowable invasion of privacy
Definition

 

¨Traditionally, invasion of an individual’s privacy has been allowed and accepted if there is an obvious and direct need by the public to know the information.

 

Term
Billy Sipple
Definition

 

¨The press immediately labeled Sipple a hero and published every detail about him, including the fact that he was gay.

 

In spite of the fact that he explicitly asked reporters to leave his sexual orientation out of the news because it would hurt his parents.

 

¨His parents read about their gay hero son in the news and promptly disowned him.

 

Term
Sexual assault cases
Definition

 

¨What should news outlets do when faced with alleged sexual assault crimes?

 

Should the claimant be named?

 

Should those charged with the crime be named before they are convicted?

 

Term
Windows or mirrors
Definition

 

¨Should photographs be “windows”?

 

The photographer captures the moment with no attempts to alter it.

 

¨Or should they be “mirrors”?

 

Anything can be manipulated as long as the photographer is attempting to subjectively “recreate” the setting

 

Light, setting, subject

 

Usually posed for effect

 

¨

 

Term
VisCom different standards
Definition

 

¨For news, the assumption is that a visual image is a “window”

 

¨For public relations, advertising, and many entertainment-oriented publications, it’s acceptable for visual images to be “mirrors” and involve some type of alteration

 

Term
Orlando Sentinal photo illustration policy
Definition

 

¨The combination of photography and illustration to create a photo illustration is acceptable in cases in which the subject matter is complex, abstract or difficult to convey through documentary photography. However, all photo illustrations must contain an element of the absurd so exaggerated that the image could not be confused with a documentary photo.

 

Term
SPJ code
Definition

Seek Truth and Report It

Minimize Harm

Act Independently

Be Accountable

Term
RTDNA code of ethics
Definition

 

TRUTH: Professional electronic journalists should pursue truth aggressively and present the news accurately, in context, and as completely as possible.

FAIRNESS: Professional electronic journalists should present the news fairly and impartially, placing primary value on significance and relevance.

INTEGRITY: Professional electronic journalists should present the news with integrity and decency, avoiding real or perceived conflicts of interest, and respect the dignity and intelligence of the audience as well as the subjects of news.

INDEPENDENCE: Professional electronic journalists should defend the independence of all journalists from those seeking influence or control over news content.

ACCOUNTABILITY: Professional electronic journalists should recognize that they are accountable for their actions to the public, the profession, and themselves.

 

Term
NPPA code of ethics
Definition

 

  1. Be accurate and comprehensive in the representation of subjects.
  2. Resist being manipulated by staged photo opportunities.
  3. Be complete and provide context when photographing or recording subjects. Avoid stereotyping individuals and groups. Recognize and work to avoid presenting one's own biases in the work.
  4. Treat all subjects with respect and dignity. Give special consideration to vulnerable subjects and compassion to victims of crime or tragedy. Intrude on private moments of grief only when the public has an overriding and justifiable need to see.
  5. While photographing subjects do not intentionally contribute to, alter, or seek to alter or influence events.
  6. Editing should maintain the integrity of the photographic images' content and context. Do not manipulate images or add or alter sound in any way that can mislead viewers or misrepresent subjects.
  7. Do not pay sources or subjects or reward them materially for information or participation.
  8. Do not accept gifts, favors, or compensation from those who might seek to influence coverage.
  9. Do not intentionally sabotage the efforts of other journalists.