Chapter 1 institutional pressures
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Chapter 1: Institutional Pressures. How can a business influence news? Is news reporting a business or a service? What does the public have a right to know?. The cases in this chapter deal with the ethical dilemmas of internal and external pressures in the business world. Chapter 1 Cases.

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Chapter 1: Institutional Pressures

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Chapter 1 institutional pressures

Chapter 1: Institutional Pressures

  • How can a business influence news?

  • Is news reporting a business or a service?

  • What does the public have a right to know?

The cases in this chapter deal with the ethical dilemmas of internal and external pressures in the business world.


Chapter 1 cases

Chapter 1 Cases

  • Case 1: The New York Times Fires Jayson Blair

  • Case 2: CNN in Baghdad

  • Case 3: The Time Warner Colossus

  • Case 4: NBC and GM’s Pickup

  • Case 5: The Wichita Experiment


Case 1 the new york times fires jayson blair

Case 1: The New York Times fires Jayson Blair

  • Facts– Empirical Definition

  • Values

  • Loyalties

  • Principles


Chapter 1 institutional pressures

  • What does the Potter Box tell us about Blair, The New York Times, and the scandal?

  • Was Blair promoted too swiftly?

  • When should supervisors step in and reprimand a reporter?

  • Jayson Blair created facts and quotes, thus destroying reputations. Should this blatant disregard for ethical journalism garner a six-figure book deal?


Case additional links

Case #: Additional links

Daily Briefing – A database of articles related to the Jayson Blair scandal.

The Jayson Blair Project – How did he bamboozle The New York Times?

What Went Wrong? – Did the accusations of plagiarism effect the public’s view of the media?

The Scandal behind the Scandal – This article explores the aspect of affirmative action as it applies to the Jayson Blair case.


Chapter 1 institutional pressures

Case 2: CNN in Baghdad

  • Facts– Empirical Definition

  • Values

  • Loyalties

  • Principles


Chapter 1 institutional pressures

  • What should CNN have done with its information about the arrests, tortures and murders in Iraq?

  • How could CNN have kept reporting if they had been thrown out of the country?

  • Is not reporting a story the same as lying?


Chapter 1 institutional pressures

Case 2: Additional links

Eason Jordan's Statement – The original statement CNN’s Baghdad affiliate made in The New York Times.

CNN's Iraqi Cover-Up – An opinion piece promoting honesty above all things.

CNN thrown out of Baghdad – The results of Jordan’s announcement.

Silence of the CNN Lambs – Did the suppression of information hurt people in the long run?


Chapter 1 institutional pressures

Case 3: The AOL Time Warner Colossus

  • Facts – Empirical Definition

  • Values

  • Principles

  • Loyalties


Chapter 1 institutional pressures

  • Covers of magazines owned by Time Warner devoted to projects funded by Time Warner.

  • Can a parent company give an unbiased opinion of things it has produced?

  • In what ways are these mergers beneficial? In what ways are they harmful?

  • When mergers of multibillion dollar companies sour, should the government help financially?


Chapter 1 institutional pressures

Case 3: Additional links

Media Conglomeration: A Threat to Press Freedom? – This article discusses a company’s ability to be unbiased.

Media Consolidation – A history of the FCC’s stance on media giants and what mergers mean for small business.

Time Warner – The official company site includes a history and list of companies owned by Time Warner.

AOL/ Time Warner Merger – A database of articles relating to Time Warner.


Chapter 1 institutional pressures

Case 4: NBC and GM’s Pickup

  • Facts – Empirical Definition

  • Values

  • Principles

  • Loyalties


Chapter 1 institutional pressures

A sales brochure for the 1986 model GMC pickup truck.

  • Was the accident that sparked Dateline’s investigation the fault of General Motors?

  • What elements of Dateline’s “Waiting to Explode” segment were unethical?

  • What repercussions should NBC and Dateline experience?

  • How can news magazines strike a balance between entertainment and dependability?


Chapter 1 institutional pressures

Case 4: Additional links

Cars in the News – This article discusses other instances in which news magazines have gone too far in reporting vehicular safety.

Where NBC Went Wrong -This article lists reasons why such exposes are so common yet controversial.

Lawyer Frenzy - This article lists reasons why such exposes are so profitable for lawyers.

Video of Dateline’s Apology – The disgraced news magazine apologizes to General Motors and the public at large.


Chapter 1 institutional pressures

Case 5: The Wichita Experiment

  • Facts – Empirical Definition

  • Values

  • Principles

  • Loyalties


Chapter 1 institutional pressures

  • What are some examples where talking about an unpopular subject has bettered society?

  • Can a news source give patrons what they want without “dumbing down” the paper?

Aristole’s Golden Mean

Profit Social responsibility

What the reader wants “spinach journalism”

Cheap, easy entertainment oblivious to reader

  • What would the balance of Aristotle's golden mean look like?


Chapter 1 institutional pressures

Case 5: Additional Links

Wichita Eagle – read the newspaper involved in the case.

American Society of Newspaper Editors – newspaper code of ethics.

Knight-Ridder – This site contains information on the Knight-Ridder corporation.


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