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Media Ethics, Part 2. How professional codes guide journalists’ behavior. Schedule Update. Today: Ethics, Part 2 Friday: Guest speaker Ted Warren, The Associated Press Photojournalism in the digital era Next week: Media Law. Calculating your grade. 3 exams @ 100 = 300 1 paper @ 30 = 30

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media ethics part 2

Media Ethics, Part 2

How professional codes guide journalists’ behavior

JAMM 100

schedule update
Schedule Update
  • Today: Ethics, Part 2
  • Friday: Guest speaker
    • Ted Warren, The Associated Press
    • Photojournalism in the digital era
  • Next week: Media Law

JAMM 100

calculating your grade
Calculating your grade
  • 3 exams @ 100 = 300
  • 1 paper @ 30 = 30
  • Clicker quizzes: 20 @ 10 = 40
  • Total points so far: 340

Still to come: 1 paper, 1 exam, extra credit

Total points for semester: 500

JAMM 100

student course evaluations
Student Course Evaluations
  • On-line at: http://www.webs.uidaho.edu/studentevals/
  • Please be constructive, specific in responses to open-ended questions
  • Surveys are anonymous, confidential
  • Last day to participate: Sunday, Dec. 12

JAMM 100

clicker quiz 1
Clicker Quiz #1

Which philosopher advocated the Golden Mean, which suggests moderation between extremes?

a) Socrates

b) Sophocles

c) Plato

d) Aristotle

e) Thucydides

JAMM 100

clicker quiz 11
Clicker Quiz #1

Which philosopher advocated the Golden Mean, which suggests moderation between extremes?

d) Aristotle

JAMM 100

ethics enforcement
Ethics: Enforcement
  • Journalists aren’t licensed, so face no formal sanctions for unethical acts
  • Many groups have ethics codes, but lack enforcement power
  • Peer pressure, public embarrassment are only consequences for violations

JAMM 100

professional codes
Professional Codes
  • Radio-TV News Directors Association
  • American Advertising Federation
  • Society of Professional Journalists
  • Public Relations Society of America

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code of ethics
Code of Ethics

Public Relations Society of America

  • Act as responsible advocates
  • Provide a voice in marketplace of ideas
  • Adhere to highest standards of accuracy, truth

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spj code of ethics
SPJ Code of Ethics

Society of Professional Journalists

  • Seek truth and report it
  • Minimize harm
  • Act independently
  • Be accountable

JAMM 100

common ethical violations
Common ethical violations
  • Sensationalism
  • Conflict of interest
  • Fakery
  • Plagiarism

JAMM 100

fakery
Fakery
  • 1992: Dateline NBC
    • Report on safety of Chevrolet trucks
  • Claim: side-mounted fuel tanks prone to explode in collision
  • NBC rigged gas tanks with igniters
  • Video showed fuel spill, flames

JAMM 100

1992 nbc
1992: NBC
  • VIDEO: When Good Journalists Do Bad Things: Truthtelling & the Public Trust
  • Poynter Institute: www.poynter.org

JAMM 100

1992 nbc1
1992: NBC
  • GM filed lawsuit; lawyers negotiated
  • NBC retracted story, apologized
  • NBC News President Michael Gartner resigned
  • GM used PR strategy for crisis management

JAMM 100

plagiarism
Plagiarism
  • The act of taking ideas, thoughts or words from another and passing them off as your own
  • Closely related to fabrication (making up stories, facts, quotes)

JAMM 100

plagiarism case studies
Plagiarism: Case studies
  • 1981: Janet Cooke
  • 1998: Stephen Glass
  • 2003: Jayson Blair

JAMM 100

janet cooke
Janet Cooke

Washington Post, 1981

  • ‘Jimmy’s World’
  • 8-year-old heroin addict
  • Illustrated urban drug problems in D.C.
  • Cooke won Pulitzer

JAMM 100

janet cooke1
Janet Cooke

Problems with ‘Jimmy’s World’:

  • Jimmy didn’t exist
  • Story couldn’t be verified
  • Post returned Pulitzer
  • Cooke resigned

JAMM 100

stephen glass
Stephen Glass
  • Writer for The New Republic
  • Fabricated dozens of stories, 1997-1998
  • Subject of movie (2003): Shattered Glass
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nA4N9ex56jA

JAMM 100

jayson blair
Jayson Blair
  • New York Times
  • Fabricated stories
    • Cut and pasted from other newspapers’ Web sites
    • Made up sources & descriptions

JAMM 100

jayson blair1
Jayson Blair
  • Resigned May, 2003
  • Blamed Times editors
  • Interview with Katie Couric, 2004
  • http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/4455995#4455995

JAMM 100

fallout from blair affair
Fallout from Blair Affair
  • 2 top editors resigned
  • Times appointed ombudsman to improve credibility

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holding the media accountable
Holding the media accountable
  • Ombudsmen (or women)
  • Journalism reviews
  • Watchdog groups
  • News councils

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ombudsman
Ombudsman
  • Staff member assigned to hear, respond to audience complaints
  • Original purpose: government position in Sweden

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ombudsman1
Ombudsman

Also known as:

  • Ombuds officer
  • Reader representative
  • Reader advocate
  • Public editor (New York Times)

JAMM 100

journalism reviews
Journalism reviews
  • Columbia Journalism Review (CJR)
  • American Journalism Review (AJR)
  • Quill (published by SPJ)

JAMM 100

watchdog groups
Watchdog groups
  • Founded in 1986 by Jeff Cohen
  • Believes corporate media has conservative bias
  • Monthly magazine: Extra!

JAMM 100

watchdog groups1
Watchdog groups
  • Media Research Center
  • Conservative group founded by Brent Bozell, 1987
  • Believes media have liberal bias

JAMM 100

news councils
News Councils
  • City or state groups
  • Public & media members
  • Review complaints & issue reports
  • No enforcement powers except public opinion

JAMM 100

news councils1
News Councils

Mission: To help maintain public trust and confidence in the news media … by creating a forum where the public and the news media can engage each other in examining standards of journalistic fairness.www.wanewscouncil.org

JAMM 100

clicker quiz 2
Clicker Quiz #2

Which of the SPJ ethical standards did NBC violate with the Dateline report?

  • Seek truth and report it
  • Minimize harm
  • Act independently
  • Be accountable

JAMM 100