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Media Ethics at Work
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Media Ethics at Work
True Stories from Young Professionals

Second Edition
Edited by:


© 2017 | 392 pages | CQ Press

A fresh approach to building integrity in all media


Media Ethics at Work: True Stories from Young Professionals
transforms students into confident, self-reliant, and ethical decision makers, prepared to resolve moral dilemmas from day one of their first media job or internship. The highly anticipated Second Edition of this text continues to engage students with true stories of young professionals working in today’s multimedia news and strategic communications organizations, helping readers create meaningful connections to real-world applications. Each story is presented as a narrative, so students can work through the ethical dilemmas as they unfold, encouraging readers to think about and ask the question: “What would I do if this happened to me?” By creating a more personalized experience for students beginning their first entry-level media jobs or internship, this book helps readers develop their own ethical standards and apply in the workplace what they have learned.

 
ABOUT THE EDITORS
 
ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS
 
PREFACE
 
INTRODUCTION
 
SECTION I- FOUNDATIONS
Lee Anne Peck
1. TOOLS FOR ETHICAL DECISION MAKING
Terms to Know  
Codes for the Media Professions  
Philosophical Theories  
Socrates  
Plato  
Aristotle’s Virtue Ethics  
Kant’s Duty-Based Ethics  
Utilitarianism and J. S. Mill’s Principle of Utility  
Ross’ Prima Facie and Actual Duties  
John Rawls’ Veil of Ignorance  
Sissela Bok’s Test of Publicity  
An Ethics of Care  
Ethical Decision Making and Religion  
Concluding Thoughts  
Bibliography  
Deni Elliott
2. THE MORALLY DEVELOPED MEDIA PROFESSIONAL
Moral Development in Theory  
Who’s Who in Moral Development Theory  
The Early Stage of Moral Development  
The Conventional Stage of Moral Development  
The Later Stage of Moral Development  
Moral Development in Practice  
One Young Reporter’s Wake-Up Call  
The Moral Development Perspective  
Becoming a Media Professional  
Resolving Sara’s Dilemma  
Exercise Your Own Moral Development  
Bibliography  
 
SECTION II- HONESTY
Donica Mensing
3. CONFRONTING OTHERS’ VIOLATIONS: THE CASE OF THE MANIPULATED PHOTO
Moral Development in Theory  
TOOL FOR THOUGHT: The Potter Box  
The Challenge: Speak Up or Stay Silent?  
The Response: Seeking Counsel  
TOOL FOR ACTION: NPPA Ethics Code  
The Aftermath: Professional Standards Defended  
Thinking It Through  
What If?  
Go Online for More  
Lucinda Austin
4. POLITICAL ESPIONAGE OR POLITICS AS USUAL? THE CASE OF POLITICAL CAMPAIGN TACTICS
The Situation: A High-Profile Political Campaign  
The Challenge: Misrepresentation and Diversion  
The Response: Sticking to “My Moral Compass”  
TOOL FOR THOUGHT: PRSA’s Code of Ethics  
The Aftermath: Politically Aware  
Thinking It Through  
What If?  
Go Online for More  
Nancy Furlow
5. FOCUS GROUP DILEMMA: THE CASE OF THE COMPROMISED TAGLINE
The Situation: Rebranding a Nonprofit  
The Challenge: The Boss Is Manipulating the Campaign  
The Response: Silence Becomes Dread  
TOOL FOR THOUGHT: Two Codes of Marketing Research Standards  
The Aftermath: Learning How to Speak Up  
Thinking It Through  
What If?  
Go Online for More  
Richard D. Waters
6. OMG! THIS BAND IS SOOO GR8! THE CASE OF THE PHONY TEENAGER
The Situation: “You Want Me to Do What?”  
The Challenge: Serving the Client While Staying Honest  
The Response: Refusing to Lie  
TOOL FOR THOUGHT: The Potter Box and the Navran Model  
The Aftermath: Honor Upheld, Business Lost  
Thinking It Through  
What If?  
Go Online for More  
Ray Niekamp
7. IDENTIFYING SUSPECTS: THE CASE OF THE WACO SHOOTING
The Situation: Motorcycle Gangs, Police with Guns and a Shootout  
The Challenge: To Report the Names—or Not?  
The Response: Use the Names  
The Aftermath: When Competitive Pressures Drive Newsroom Decisions  
TOOL FOR THOUGHT: Minimize Harm  
Thinking It Through  
Now Try This  
George L. Daniels
8. SOLO JUDGMENT CALLS: THE CASE OF THE ONE-PERSON “TV CREW”
The Situation: A Tornado and Its Aftermath  
The Challenge: To Re-create or Not to Re-create  
TOOL FOR ACTION: Using File Footage and VNRs  
The Response: Reality, with a Tweak  
The Aftermath: More Stories, More Lessons  
Thinking It Through  
TOOL FOR THOUGHT: Guidelines for Ethical Video and Audio Editing  
What If?  
Go Online for More  
Joe Mirando
9. SEEKING ANSWERS FOR STUDENTS: THE CASE OF THE UNDERCOVER REPORTER
The Situation: Inconsistent Rules on Transfer Credit  
The Challenge: Gathering Information from Difficult Sources  
TOOL FOR ACTION: Rules of Engagement for Deception  
The Response: Pretending to Be Someone Else  
TOOL FOR THOUGHT: Mill and Avoiding Rationalization  
The Aftermath: Publication and Policy Changes  
Thinking It Through  
What If?  
Go Online for More  
John H. Kennedy, Vinny Vella
10. PRIOR RESTRAINT: THE CASE OF “SEE BELOW THE FOLD”
The Situation: Classroom Encounters of an Unusual Kind  
The Challenge: Journalists or Not Journalists?  
The Response: What Should They Do Now?  
TOOL FOR ACTION: Seeking Truth and (Some) Independence  
The Aftermath: “Part of Something Greater”  
Thinking It Through  
What If?  
Go Online for More  
Cailin Brown
11. FACE TO FACE WITH THE FACTS: THE CASE OF THE DISAGREEING SOURCES
The Situation: Drowning in Facts  
The Challenge: Include Everything or Just Some Things?  
TOOL FOR ACTION: SPJ’s Mandate to Minimize Harm and Sissela Bok’s Test  
The Response: What Should I Do?  
The Aftermath: Readers Respond  
TOOL FOR THOUGHT: The Veil of Ignorance  
Thinking It Through  
What If?  
Go Online for More  
 
SECTION III- SENSITIVITY
Frances Parrish, Guy S. Reel
12. SENSITIVITY AND SOCIAL MEDIA: THE CASE OF THE STUDENT DEATH
The Situation: Crowdsourcing a Death  
The Challenge: How to Report a Cause of Death  
TOOL FOR ACTION: Using Facebook and Other Social Networking Sites  
The Response: Getting the Stories  
TOOL FOR THOUGHT: Carol Gilligan’s Ethics of Care  
The Aftermath: Taking Professional Action  
TOOL FOR ACTION: Using Social Media  
Thinking It Through  
Go Online for More  
What If  
David R. Davies, Cassie Rodenberg
13. THE CASE OF ETHICS IN IMMERSION JOURNALISM: THE WHITE NOISE
The Situation: “Why Are You Writing About This?”  
The Challenge: Balancing Ethics and Protecting Sources  
The Response: Giving Voice to Those Seldom Heard  
TOOL FOR THOUGHT: Carol Gilligan’s Ethics of Care  
The Aftermath: “Just Talk to People”  
Thinking it Through  
What If?  
Go Online for More  
Nathaniel Frederick II, Aimee Pavia Meader
14. WHEN PRIVACY OUTWEIGHS THE PUBLIC’S RIGHT TO KNOW: THE CASE OF THE RAPE VICTIM
The Situation: “This Isn’t the Average Murder”  
The Challenge: “Concealing Isn’t Enough”  
The Response: Leaving Out Details  
TOOL FOR THOUGHT: W. D. Ross  
The Aftermath: Handling Future Coverage  
Thinking It Through  
Go Online for More  
Daniel Reimold
15. FREE SPEECH, OFFICIAL PRESSURE: THE CASE OF THE VISITING FOREIGN STUDENT
The Situation: “American Culture, with a Minnesotan Twist”  
The Challenge: “Bold Statements, Straightforward Views”  
The Response: Story’s Up, But Government Wants It Down  
TOOL FOR THOUGHT: SPJ Code of Ethics  
The Aftermath: “No Longer Written in Stone”  
Thinking It Through  
What If?  
Go Online for More  
Giselle A. Auger
16. SINS OF OMISSION: THE CASE OF THE NOT-SO-FREE PET PARTY
The Situation: Come to Our First Barking Barbecue!  
The Challenge: Follow Orders or Serve the Truth?  
The Response: Reality Meets Promotion  
TOOL FOR THOUGHT: Provisions of Conduct in the PRSA Ethics Code  
The Aftermath: Communication Is a Management Function  
Thinking It Through  
What If?  
Go Online for More  
Ray Niekamp
17. PLEASE DON’T USE THE VIDEO: THE CASE OF THE FATAL ACCIDENT
The Situation: A Soldier, a Girl, Alcohol and a Red Light  
The Challenge: “Can You Please Not Use the Video?”  
TOOL FOR THOUGHT: Telling Truth Versus Doing Harm  
The Response: Run the Whole Thing  
The Aftermath: No Second Thoughts  
Thinking It Through  
What If?  
Go Online for More  
Michael O’Donnell
18. SOURCE REMORSE: THE CASE OF THE REQUESTS TO “UNPUBLISH”
The Situation: “I’m Afraid My Employer Will Google My Name and See My Story”  
The Challenge: Small Paper, Big Audience  
The Response: Trying to Dodge the Search Engines  
TOOL FOR THOUGHT: Clifford G. Christians on Privacy and Morality  
The Aftermath: More Requests, New Standards  
TOOL FOR ACTION: Questions to Guide “Unpublishing” Decisions  
Thinking It Through  
What If?  
Go Online for More  
 
SECTION IV- BALANCE
Lois A. Boynton, Adam Rhew
19. FRIEND OF THE VICTIM: THE CASE OF THE MURDERED STUDENT
The Situation: Student Body President Found Murdered  
The Challenge: Handling Emotion, Getting It Right  
The Response: “I Stood My Ground”  
TOOL FOR THOUGHT: The Philosophies of William Ross and Sissela Bok  
The Aftermath: Reflecting on Dual Roles  
Thinking It Through  
What If?  
Go Online for More  
Kathy K. Previs
20. WHEN ETHICAL COMPASSES COLLIDE: THE CASE OF FOLLOWING ONE’S CONSCIENCE
The Situation: Facilitating Communication with the Public  
The Challenge: Maintaining Neutrality  
TOOL FOR THOUGHT: The PRSA Member Statement of Professional Values  
The Response: Consulting Codes of Ethics  
TOOL FOR ACTION: Considering Your Options  
The Aftermath: Compromises May Be Made  
Thinking It Through  
What If?  
Go Online for More  
Kelly Scott Raisley
21. YOU SENT ME WHAT?! THE CASE OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT AT AN INTERNSHIP
The Situation: Questionable Requests from a Supervisor  
The Challenge: What to Do?  
TOOL FOR THOUGHT: The Doctrine of the Mean and the Categorical Imperative  
The Response: Leaving the Internship  
TOOL FOR ACTION: Dealing with Sexual Harassment or Sexism at Work  
The Aftermath: Looking Forward to Their Careers  
Thinking It Through  
What If?  
Go Online for More  
Ray Niekamp
22. ADVERTISER PRESSURE: THE CASE OF THE SCHOOL LUNCHES
The Situation: A Complaint About School Lunches  
The Challenge: Advertiser Pressure  
The Response: “I Was Shocked and Confused”  
TOOL FOR THOUGHT: Act Independently  
The Aftermath: Self-Censorship  
Thinking It Through  
TOOL FOR ACTION: RTDNA Guidelines for Balancing Business Pressure and Journalistic Values  
Now Try This  
Go Online for More  
Gary Ritzenthaler
23. JOURNALISTS’ JUDGMENTS VERSUS AUDIENCE CLICKS: THE CASE OF WEB ANALYTICS’ INFLUENCE
The Situation: When Is a Big Story Not a Top Story?  
The Challenge: Who Decides What’s News?  
The Response: “A Missed Opportunity”  
TOOL FOR THOUGHT: W. D. ROSS and Choosing Between Competing Duties  
The Aftermath: More Analytics, More Options and Questions  
Thinking It Through  
What If?  
Go Online for More  
Jan Leach
24. ARE PUBLIC OFFICIALS ALWAYS ON THE RECORD? THE CASE OF THE COUNCILOR’S BLOG
The Situation: A City Councilor Speaks Out  
TOOL FOR ACTION: Tips for Using Blog Posts in News Coverage  
The Challenge: Are Blog Posts Newsworthy Quotes?  
The Response: Run It and Wonder  
TOOL FOR THOUGHT: Day’s SAD Decision-Making Model  
The Aftermath: Blogs Go Mainstream  
Thinking It Through  
What If?  
Go Online for More  
K. Tim Wulfemeyer
25. ON THE RECORD OR OFF? THE CASE OF THE CRANKY PROFESSOR
The Situation: Late Professor, Angry Students  
The Challenge: “I Retract All My Comments”  
TOOL FOR THOUGHT: Combining Codes and Theory  
The Response: Weigh the Options and Choose  
The Aftermath: Institutional and Individual Impact  
Thinking It Through  
What If?  
Go Online for More  
Beth E. Concepción
26. GIVING VOICE TO THE VOICELESS: THE CASE OF TELLING THE STORY OF THE OTHER
The Situation: A New Project Causes Unexpected Concerns  
The Challenge: “Who Am I to Tell This Story?”  
TOOL FOR THOUGHT: Rawls’ Social Contract View of Justice  
The Response: Seeking Counsel  
TOOL FOR ACTION: Following the SPJ Code of Ethics  
The Aftermath: “Everything Is Storytelling”  
Thinking It Through  
What If?  
Go Online for More  
Scott R. Hamula
27. ALONG CAME A BETTER OFFER: TWO CASES OF JOB-HUNTING ETHICS
The Situation: “I Got the Job, but . . .”  
The Challenge: Dealing with Second Thoughts  
TOOL FOR THOUGHT: The Millennial Generation  
The Response: Making a Quick Switch  
TOOL FOR ACTION: The Benjamin Franklin Balance Sheet  
The Aftermath: Two Approaches, Two Results  
Thinking It Through  
What If?  
Go Online for More  
 
APPENDIX- LINKS TO ETHICS CODES
 
INDEX
Key features

NEW TO THIS EDITION

  • New cases and new examples address the most pressing ethical issues for today's media professional.
  • Many chapters include a stronger emphasis on new media to ensure readers are familiar with the most current channels used by today’s media professionals and the ethical issues these new channels present. For instance, new chapters include the following:
    • A new chapter titled “When Ethical Compasses Collide” addresses the problem of following one's personal beliefs when those may conflict with the positions of his or her employer
    • A new chapter titled “Advertiser Pressure” explores the influence of advertisers over news content and major ethical problems media professionals face.
  • New material on political campaign tactics examines the collision between politics and ethical practices.

KEY FEATURES

Within most chapters, readers will find the following:

  • Tool for Thought - how a theory or professional ethics code clarifies the case’s central ethical issue.
  • Tool for Action -  practical how-to tips.
  • Thinking it Through - discussion questions.
  • What If? - an alternative scenario for students to think through.
  • Go Online for More - web resources for further information


Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 4

Chapter 7


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