Santa Clara University

Ethics Center Blog
Bookmark and Share

At the Center

Capturing the lively discussions, presentations, and other events that make up the daily activities of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University.

The following postings have been filtered by tag journalism ethics. clear filter
  •  When Politics, Religion, and Journalism Collide

    Monday, Oct. 1, 2012 2:15 PM

    A panel of experts focuses on the ethical issues that arise for journalists when religion is so prominent in the current presidential election, Thursday, Oct. 4, 3:45 - 5:30 p.m., in Bannan 142 (Note location change).  Participants include expert journalists, a visiting group of masters’ students from Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg in Germany, and SCU faculty.

    According to the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics, American journalists “believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues,” thus creating an informed public square.

    Questions we will discuss: Should journalists incorporate cultural values in their coverage of the general election? Which values (and whose) should get prominence? Do journalists have a responsibility to reach beyond campaign platforms in order to provide the facts and perspectives that might stimulate broader discussion of issues such as contraception, same-sex marriage and immigration? What responsibility do journalists have, if any, to highlight “truthfulness” or the lack thereof? How should they define “truth” in this context? What is journalists’ responsibility to address stereotypes and fears regarding minority religions such as Islam, Mormonism, or Catholicism?

    Participants include:

    Gerardo Fernandez, Editor, Aliana Metropolitan News
    Josh Richman, Bay Area News Group
    Shirin Sadeghi, blogger and former producer for the BBC and Al Jazeera
    Peter Erlenwein, sociopsychologist, journalist and author
    Steven Saum, Editor, Santa Clara magazine
    Ingrid Stapf, Assistant Professor, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
    Students from Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg interdisciplinary masters program
    Sally Lehrman, Knight-Ridder Professor of Communication, Santa Clara University
    Paul Soukup, S.J., Associate Professor of Communication, Santa Clara University
    Katharine Heintz, Media Analyst and Lecturer, Santa Clara University
    Students from Santa Clara University, Introduction to Journalism and Media and Advocacy courses

  •  Digital Journalism Ethics

    Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 3:29 PM

    The migration of news organizations to the online world, including the world of social media, has raised a host of new ethical issues for journalists.  Leaders in the online news field reflect on those issues in a series of videos from the Center's recent Executive Roundtable on Digital Journalism Ethics.  The meeting also produced a set of "Unavoidable Dilemmas for Digital Journalists."

    Conclusions From the Meeting
    Unavoidable Ethical Dilemmas for Digital Journalists
    Short Videos on Digital Journalism Ethics
    Ethical Challenges for Digital Journalism
    Richard Gingras, head of news products, Google
    Accuracy and Newsgathering Online
    Scott Rosenberg, executive editor, Grist
    Accountability and Transparency in Digital Media
    Bryan Monroe, editor,
    Inclusiveness in Digital Media
    Joaquin Alvarado, senior VP for digital innovation, American Public Media
    Using Metrics to Make Editorial Decisions
    Christine Montgomery, chief digital officer, Center for Public Integrity
    Findings From the Online News Association Survey
    Jane McDonnell, executive director, Online News Association


    Illustration by Mike Licht, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license on Flickr

  •  The News Corp. Code of Conduct

    Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011 9:21 AM

    News Corp., the Rupert Murdoch company now embroiled in the "News of the World" scandal had a 56-page code of conduct, but instead of helping employees do the right thing, it may actually have been a hindrance.  In an article for The Daily Beast, David A. Graham interviewed a group of ethicists about the deficiencies of News Corp.'s code.  He writes:

    "Corporate codes, once a hallmark of the most responsible companies, have become at once more common and less meaningful, says Kirk Hanson, who directs the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. Many companies have adopted codes specifically for instances such as lwhat News Corp. faces now—so executives can point at them and then wash their own hands.

    “This is a compliance document without an inspirational set of values,” Hanson says. “The only value statement that it looks like is in this document is, ‘We treat each other fairly and with respect, establishing a high trust environment where people can do their best work.’ That’s totally inadequate. That doesn’t say anything.”

    "For years, Hanson says, Johnson & Johnson’s “Credo” was a model—instead of just proscribing certain activities, it was a positive statement of the company’s values. Successful codes offer an informal set of moral guidelines."