The Moral Media
How Journalists Reason About Ethics
Routledge – 2004 – 178 pages
Series: Routledge Communication Series
The Moral Media provides readers with preliminary answers to questions about ethical thinking in a professional environment. Representing one of the first publications of journalists' and advertising practitioners' response to the Defining Issues Test (DIT), this book compares thinking about ethics by these two groups with the thinking of other professionals.
This text is divided into three parts:
*Part I includes chapters that explain the DIT and place it within the larger history of three fields: psychology, philosophy, and mass communication. It also provides both a statistical (quantitative) and narrative (qualitative) analysis of journalists' responses to the DIT.
*Part II adds to scholarship theory building in these three disciplines and makes changes in the DIT that adds an element of visual information processing to the test.
*Part III explores the larger meaning of this effort overall and links the results to theory and practice in these three fields. The Moral Media pursues connections among various intellectual disciplines, between the academy and the profession of journalism, and among those who believe that what journalists do is essential. As a result, this book is appropriate for aspiring journalists; scholars in journalism and mass communication; psychologists, particularly those interested in human development and behavior; and philosophers.
"The monograph can inform teachers, give some backing to media professionals who feel the need to explain why and how they decided an ethical question, and aid scholars in their search for new hypotheses and new methods of measuring and explaining behavior."
Contents: Preface. Part I: Understanding Journalists' Responses to Moral Questions. Moral Development Theory: A Historical Approach. Methods: Multiple Approaches to Asking Questions. Context and Results: The Defining Issues Test. Moral Development: In Their Own Words. Part II: The Struggle to Think Deeply--Pictures, Deception, and Persuasion. What's a Picture Worth When It Comes to Ethical Reasoning? Ethical Reasoning and the Color Bind. S.T. Lee, The Ethics of Journalistic Deception. A. Cunningham, Advertising Practitioners Respond: The News Is Not Good. Part III: Implications for Teachers, Scholars, and Professionals. Teaching Journalists About Ethics: What This Study Suggests. Theory: A Moving Target. Appendix.