The Ethical Journalist

The Ethical Journalist

Tony Harcup

Language: English

Pages: 224

ISBN: 1412918979

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The Ethical Journalist discusses a range of ethical questions likely to confront those studying journalism and/or training to become journalists. Building on the reflective and questioning approach of the author's acclaimed Journalism: Principles and Practice (2004), The Ethical Journalist links theory and practice throughout by examining the views of journalists and academics. It places anecdotal experience within the context of relevant critical study, and scrutinizes academic explanations within the context of practitioner accounts. Informed by original research and the author's own experience within mainstream and alternative journalism, The Ethical Journalist addresses topics issues such as trust, the public interest, undercover reporting, news values, source relationships, crime reporting, regulation, and the Hutton inquiry.

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THE ETHICAL JOURNALIST TONY HARCUP Harcup-Prelims.qxd 10/31/2006 12:47 PM Page i The Ethical Journalist Harcup-Prelims.qxd 10/31/2006 12:47 PM Page ii THE COVER PICTURE The cover photograph shows two journalists discussing the merits of a story. It is a promotional picture for the 1930s radio series Big Town, which starred Edward G Robinson and Claire Trevor as a pair of New York journalists. It was not the only time that Robinson, a classic Hollywood ‘hard man’, took on the role of a

consider it. We can be guided by the work of other journalists, contemporary and historical; we can be guided by the work of philosophers, commentators and other thinkers; and we can be guided by the people whom we serve and by Harcup-3449-Ch-04.qxd 10/31/2006 12:48 PM Page 45 IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST 45 ideas of citizenship. We may come up with different answers. The most important thing is that we are asking the question, both of ourselves and of other journalists. Journalists can also be

journalism as existing fundamentally to serve the interests of citizens, then the concept of the public interest can inform more than just specifically investigative reporting. James Ettema and Theodore Glasser (1998: 61, 181) argue that investigative journalism offers a different model from what they term “daily journalism” because it makes claims that certain facts are verifiably true and is not afraid of making moral judgements, for example about the performance of public institutions. But,

speaking out. So a letter was duly despatched to the PCC asking it to insert a “conscience clause” into its code of practice, whereby journalists who refused unethical assignments would be protected from disciplinary action or dismissal. Michelle Stanistreet recalls how the letter was rejected out of hand by the PCC: “We wrote to them asking for a conscience clause, but they said that journalists don’t come under such pressure, so there is no need for one, and it’s just a matter between the

lessons that extend far beyond the way in which conflicts are covered. Reflective journalists discuss their craft in British Journalism Review (Sage) and the Columbia Journalism Harcup-3449-Ch-10.qxd 146 10/31/2006 12:47 PM Page 146 THE ETHICAL JOURNALIST Review (www.cjr.org), and academic research into journalism is published in the journals Journalism Studies (Routledge), Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism (Sage) and Ethical Space (Institute of Communication Ethics). Useful

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