Skip to main content
Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Ethical Considerations for Student Reporters, Editors, and News Consumers

Student journalists, student editors, and student news consumers often plunge into the news ecosystem without much guidance or formal training. What foundational knowledge might help budding news consumers as well as student journalists and editors?

2020-21 Hackworth Fellow Lily Evans ’21 has developed three modules aimed at today’s news consumers and creators who are often digitally savvy but less familiar with the structures and significance of how media exert influence in society. These modules, titled “How They See Us: Expanding Media Literacy for a New Cohort of Digital Narratives” offer a detailed snapshot of three major media literacy topics: (1) Journalism 101, (2) Modern Media Structures, (3) Media Influence and Persuasion.


For student journalists and student editors, Delaney Nothaft '20 offers insights in her 2019-20 Hackworth Fellowship project, grounded in interviews with student journalists, newsroom observations, and article analysis. "Journalism Ethics 101: A Survival Guide for Student Journalists Navigating a Shifting World" provides advice and key questions for student reporters to reflect upon as they prepare to cover often-contentious campus issues. 

Delaney's guidelines build upon work by Isabella "Bella" Rios '19, who served as a 2018-19 Hackworth fellow and developed journalism ethics cases relevant to student reporting, which are also available below.

Anita Varma, PhD, assistant director of Journalism & Media Ethics as well as Social Sector Ethics, advised Lily, Delaney, and Bella.


How They See Us: Expanding Media Literacy for a New Cohort of Digital Narratives

Journalism 101
Modern Media Structures
Media Influence and Persuasion


Ethical Guidelines for Student Journalists
Case Studies