Journalism Ethics

Authored by: Stephen J. A. Ward

The Handbook of Journalism Studies

Print publication date:  November  2008
Online publication date:  January  2009

Print ISBN: 9780805863420
eBook ISBN: 9780203877685
Adobe ISBN: 9781135592011

10.4324/9780203877685.ch21

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Abstract

Journalism ethics, the norms of responsible journalism, can be traced back to the beginning of modern journalism in Europe during the seventeenth century. This chapter provides an overview of contemporary journalism ethics by following its evolution, by reviewing and critiquing major approaches, and by suggesting future work. The chapter begins with a view of ethics as practical normative activity that aims to solve problems, integrate values and help humans live rightly, as individuals and as societies. Journalism ethics is defined as a species of applied ethics that examines what journalists and news organizations should do, given their role in society. The main problem areas include editorial independence, verification, anonymous sources, the use of graphic or altered images, and norms for new forms of media.

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