Mass Media & American Society – Week of 11/3

Ethical Dilemmas, Issues, and Concerns in Mass Communication


Read Chapter 4 in Media Law & Ethics and answer the following questions:

1. Define ethics. (pg. 98)

2. Ethical journalism is definitely tied to the roles of journalists. Explain those roles. (pg. 102-106)

3. Explain why journalism’s ethical lapses are different than lapses in other professions. (pg. 106-108)

4. Explain two of the approaches to determining what is ethical. (pg. 109-110)

5. Explain the two different types of ethical codes. (pg. 110-111)

6. Define plagiarism and review some of the issues that confront journalists about using information already published elsewhere. (pg. 118-120)

7. Define reporter’s privilege and outline the ethical issues involved. (pg. 126-131)

Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics

The Society of Professional Journalists revised its Code of Ethics in September after it stood untouched for 18 years. The former code was listed under four tenets: Seek Truth & Report It, Minimize Harm, Act Independently and Be Accountable. Along with revising certain principles, the SPJ added Transparency to Be Accountable & Transparent.

Listen to the podcast by The National Press Club interviewing Kevin Smith, chairman of the SPJ Ethics Committee.

Answer the question: Why do you think SPJ added “Be Transparent” with “Be Accountable”?



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