Skip to comments.Researchers examine ethics of journalists
Posted on 05/05/2005 8:57:58 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Lee Wilkins remembers well the reaction she'd often get when identifying herself as a reporter.
"I had a standard line," said Wilkins, now a journalism professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia. "I would always say back, 'I won't accuse you of all the ills of your profession if you won't accuse me of all the ills of mine.'"
Recent research by Wilkins and Renita Coleman of Louisiana State University may provide some vindication for members of a profession that's taken a beating in recent years with high-profile blunders.
Wilkins and Coleman surveyed journalists for the first time using a decades-old model for assessing one's morals, a test given to more than 30,000 people representing numerous professions.
According to the researchers, journalists are significantly more ethical than the average adult - eclipsed only by seminarians, doctors and medical students.
"We did not really think that journalists would come out as high as they did," said Coleman.
Wilkins and Coleman traveled to newsrooms across the country for two years interviewing a sampling of 249 journalists.
Using a version of the Defining Issues Test, developed in the 1970s at the University of Minnesota, the professors offered participants six ethical dilemmas, each followed by a dozen questions that seek to determine what motivated a journalist's decision.
Journalists had an average score of 48.7 on a 100-point scale, meaning just about half the time, members of the profession make decisions based on the best quality ethical reasoning. That rate was exceeded only by seminarians/philosophers at 65.1, medical students at 50.2 and practicing physicians at 49.2.
Nurses, orthopedic surgeons and members of the Navy are among the groups that trailed journalists. Junior high school students scored lowest, with 20.0, just below prison inmates, with 23.7.
"What we're measuring is an ability to work out what ought to be done when you're in a dilemma," said Mickey Bebeau, executive director of the Center for the Study of Ethical Development at the University of Minnesota.
Wilkins and Coleman said age and education are the primary determinants of moral development.
Among journalists, their study showed no significant difference between broadcasters or their print counterparts, between women and men or between managers and the rank-and-file.
The findings conflict with public perception of journalists.
A Gallup poll of 1,015 people taken in November showed that only 23 percent of the public rated the ethical standards of TV reporters as high or very high. For newspaper reporters, it was 21 percent.
Hope they have a good microscope.
What ethics???This shouldn't take long.
"Researchers examine ethics of journalists"
...and found nothing.
I believe most of them are ethical, really! It doesn't mean they aren't biased, however. It doesn't mean that this bias doesn't find its way into their reporting..
Journalists: goody-two-shoes with a leftist agenda - except for the goody-two-shoes part.
You mean they might actually have ETHICS?
- Journalism should not only inform, but should also be a tool to mold society.
- The Democratic Party has the proper set of ideas.
- Republicans are evil
There is no way to tell from this article whether the findings amount to a hill of beans, or is merely an example of one biased institution (academia) offering cover for another (the MSM).
Ethics of Journalists is in the same oxy moron class as Ethics of Lawyers.
Anybody seen this "test"? Google it up, and you'll see it's chock full of moral relativism. If that's what we're measuring here, then journalists should have a high score.
Media Warned About Faux News Advocacy Pieces
Media Warned About Faux News Advocacy Pieces
Scrappleface ^ | 2-19-05 | Scott Ott
Posted on 02/19/2005 4:55:32 AM PST by FlyLow
(2005-02-19) -- Just a day after the U.S. comptroller general warned the White House against distributing simulated newscasts that promote administration policies without clearly stating the source, major U.S. media outlets including the New York Times, CNN and CBS News have received a similar advisory.
"Americans have a right to know whether there is an agenda or any bias behind the news reports they read, hear or view," said a spokesman from the FCC. "Just as the White House shouldn't try to accomplish its public relations goals with unattributed faux newscasts, so the editors at the Washington Post and MSNBC cannot hide their political agendas behind a patina of journalistic credibility."
The new warning includes guidelines for flagging so called 'agenda-driven' news to make sources and motivation more transparent to news consumers.
Under the terms of the new protocol, the New York Times, Washington Post and L.A. Times, for example, may continue their traditional 'news' coverage, but all sections of the papers will now be labeled 'Op-Ed.'
Televised news operations, like CNN or CBS, will be in compliance if newscasters simply wink at the camera at least once every 20 seconds during agenda-driven stories.
According to whose standards? I've argued with various journalists more than once about this very subject. Most of them claim there are no standards, though that's just a cover. They really believe that liberalism is an absolute truth.
The creepiest thing about journalists is their smug assertion that they can make a living out of criticizing others without deserving any criticism in return. If you criticize them they act so violated. I think they suffer from a deity-self-perception disorder or something.
"journalists are significantly more ethical than the average adult"
Translation: "I don't give a damn what you yokels think. Shut up a accept our word for everything."
This is great. As long as these zipper heads insist upon treating everybody like children, they will continue to loose credibility. This is a very good thing for us!
I wonder how we get these erroneous notions that journalists are entirely self-preoccupied and self-serving?
With special guest appearances by The Original "JC" -- Jimmy Carter.
The part of Sleeping Beauty will be played by Journalism's own Helen Thomas. With Alan Colmes as The Handsome Prince.
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