This book combines the insights of a seasoned journalist with those of a philosopher to provide a penetrating and comprehensive guide to the ethics of news reporting. Drawing on a wealth of real-life cases, The Virtuous Journalist melds for the first time a conceptual analysis of the critical moral problems in journalism with a solid understanding of the constraints and possibilities faced by the print and electronic media. The authors are not First Amendment absolutists but believe nonetheless that, in a democracy, the media should be subjected to minimal legal restraint. They also argue that freedom from legal restraint requires increased moral responsibility. Among the specific topics treated in the book are notions of morality and fairness, journalistic competence, standards of objectivity and accuracy, avoiding bias, avoiding harm, notions of public service, and maintaining public trust. Specific cases discussed include the controversy surrounding the CBS documentary "The Uncounted Enemy" and recent reporting on the AIDS epidemic. This is essential reading for anyone interested in the role the press plays in influencing social, economic, and political choices in modern life.
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Oxford University Press Inc