Journalistic ethics and moral authority: being right, knowing better

Tim Markham

in The Politics of War Reporting

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780719085284
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702642 | DOI:
Journalistic ethics and moral authority: being right, knowing better

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This chapter investigates some of the broader themes that emerge from the interviews, in particular the question of morality and moral authority. In particular, it draws how ethics and morality come to have practical durability and what it tells about authority in war reporting and the field of cultural production generally. Journalistic ethics decreases to the strategic effects of individuals and institutions enacting certain ethics, and the implications of particular ethics achieving effective universality as the dominant principles of differentiation in the journalistic field. The most commonly evoked moral principles in the interviews were selflessness, giving voice, bearing witness, public service and holding power to account. The common theme in disavowals of morality is that acting ‘properly’ in a field is simply a matter of common sense or professionalism. It is noted that morality plays a dual function in war reporting.

Keywords: morality; moral authority; journalistic ethics; interviews; moral principles; war reporting; selflessness; giving voice; bearing witness; public service

Chapter.  8863 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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