Log in to StudySoup
Get Full Access to UW - Com 468 - Study Guide - Midterm
Join StudySoup for FREE
Get Full Access to UW - Com 468 - Study Guide - Midterm

Already have an account? Login here
Reset your password

UW / Communications / COM 468 / What is the golden rule?

What is the golden rule?

What is the golden rule?


School: University of Washington
Department: Communications
Course: Media Ethics
Professor: Douglas underwood
Term: Fall 2016
Tags: digital media, ethics, journalism ethics, potter box, digital media ethics, journalism, philosophy, ethics philosophy, and ethical frameworks
Cost: 50
Name: COM 468 Ethics study guide
Description: This is our Communications media ethics guide focusing on Key philosophical principles, philosophers, and journalism ethics in the first part of our course. This guide is based off of our professor's g
Uploaded: 11/11/2016
24 Pages 94 Views 17 Unlocks

Study guide for Journalism Ethics

What is the golden rule?

Important religious and philosophical concepts to know:

To Know the Good is to Do the Good

- From Plato’s philosophy of the ideal Greek citizen

- The ideal Greek Citizen learns “the good” in the world and is literate, well spoken, and  involved in Politics so that they could “do the good” for society  

- The philosopher king was someone who was well learned in philosophy and knew what  was best for society. The Greek society needed someone to rule over them show them  how to govern themselves  

Ideal Greek Citizen

- From Plato’s philosophy learns “the good” in the world and is literate, well spoken, and  involved in Politics so that they could “do the good” for society


- From Plato  

- Keep striving for better ideas and new things in society so that it will grow - Still only talking about literate citizens  

What is prophetic journalism?

Don't forget about the age old question of What is supply curve?

Golden Mean

- From Aristotle (after Plato)  

- There is always a median between two extremes that is usually the best way to decide  

Situational Ethics

- Aristotle  

- The world teaches that ethical character is always moving  

- Finding compromise and keeping ideas modern  

Danger of Collectivism

- Aristotle  

- The government can easily control a collective people  

Ten Commandments

- Built into Christianity based on reciprocity ethics, or those that were already there before  Moses brought the tablet  

Sermon on the Mount

- Refinement of ethical values and scripture  

- Discussion of values and the golden rule – treat others how you want to be treated  - Considered radical because it contrasted some of the Hebrew teachings about violence  

What is karma?

Parables/Thinking outside the box

- Folk stories with moral lessons and conclusions that went outside the cultural  understanding

Golden Rule

- Treat others how you want to be treated  

- A teaching of Jesus but probably existed long before he taught it

- A way for societies to communicate and live together and be stronger in numbers  

Love Thy Neighbor

- Love thy neighbor as thyself  

- Ethical teachings of Jesus  

Medieval notions of Heaven and Hell Don't forget about the age old question of What is the total fertility rates in the usa?

- Ethical religious principle  

- Be fearful of God’s punishment for disobeying his laws  

- If you repent and obey you will be blessed  

- If you don’t follow God’s rules, you will be tortured forever  

Prophetic Journalism

- The role of the press is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable  - Heroic perspective of journalism like Robin Hood  

Protestant Reformation

- The historical movement of ethics as part of religion is from authoritatively regulated  ethical conduct (the middle ages) to ethical actions as part of the individual religious  conscience (the protestant reformation) to ethics as something to be seen in more secular  terms (our modern times)


- 1600s movement to pay the church in order to improve a relative’s condition in the  afterlife  

- Calvin- Swiss protestant – variation of Luther – Predestination: God already chose whom  are going to heaven or hell and it’s our job in life to figure that out  Don't forget about the age old question of What is sharecropping in us history?


- Buddhism  

- Letting go of the ego  

- Seeking collective happiness and individual peace  


- God is just a creator that set things in motion and left us to figure it out  - If you followed scientific advancement, you were following God’s will  - God’s will was scientific reason  


- Somehow or other you will be rewarded or punished by your actions by a transcendent  force  Don't forget about the age old question of What is ecumenism?


- Hobbes  

- Leviathan as a metaphor for the monarchy

- The monarchy needs to rule in order to instill harmony

Security is better than anarchy

- From Hobbes

- A contract should be made with governments in order to keep security even if it limits  some rights  

- In anarchy, more rights would be violated and people will be harmed  

Human selfishness and brutishness

- Hobbes  

- In a state of nature, or anarchy, people will be selfish and brutish  

- People are not kind to each other without government  

Self-righting principle

- From Milton  

- In an equal contest between falsehood and truth, truth will prevail  

- Milton believed in the marketplace of ideas  

- The marketplace of ideas- a place where people could talk in open forums and debate  civilly  If you want to learn more check out Why is carbon so versatile?

- Having falsehood spoken out was important because it made the truth stronger  

Marketplace of Ideas

- Where people can express their ideas and opinon  

- Truth will prevail- Mill  

- Truth is strengthened by falsehood  

Natural Rights

- Locke  

- Fundamental rights as individuals from traditions and customs that cannot be violated by  the government  

- Magna carta, common law, motivated colonial legislature and revolution  

Social Contract

- Locke  

- The people should have a social contract so that individuals are valued  - Avoids government oppression  

Majority Rule

- Nietzsche believed you should beware of the majority rule  

- Locke believed in the majority rule  

Right of Revolution We also discuss several other topics like What is the relative refractory period?

- Rousseau- Paine – Locke  

- Right of the people to rebel when a contract has been broken

- People revolt when governments have been unjust  

Property is Good/Bad

- Rousseau- bad because it makes people selfish and tolerate inequality  - Locke- Good because it helps people build character and become good citizens

Success Ethics

- Machiavelli

- Success is what counts  

- It is ok to change ethics and values to obtain success  

- Ends justify the means  

General Will versus Will of All

- From Rousseau  

- Seeking to do what is good for the community versus the will of all (aggregate of selfish  interests)  

Faith in the people

- From Rousseau  

- The people will generally choose what is good for the group because the group benefits  the individuals  

Born Free but are everywhere in chains

- Rousseau  

- Fault of the world blamed on society, not the individual  

Disapprove of what you say but defend your right to say it

- Voltaire  

- Believed that even if you don’t agree with an opinion, anyone should be free to state that  opinion  

Prophet of Democracy  

- Thomas Paine  

- One of the first “investigative” journalists

- Moralistic and wrote articles accusing officials of making profits off arms  - Took up the cause of the American revolutionary war  

- Propagandist for liberty  

Categorical imperative

- Kant  

- I should only do what I believe should be a binding principle for all  

Duty ethics

- Kant  

- Absolute rational rules that govern ethical activity without exception  - Means are paramount over ends  

- Our duty to society to be ethical citizens  


- Mill  

- The greatest good for the greatest number of people  

- Journalists are not afraid to call out the miscreant in order to do the most good for the  most people  

- Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable  

- Public’s right to know


- Mill  

- Only limit on my rights what encroaches on rights of others  

- Importance of the individual’s liberty  


- Nietzsche  

- Importance of a morally superior person  

- Some people are specially gifted, talented, or intelligent and they should be the people in  power  


- Rousseau and Confucius, Han Fei, and Mo Tzu

- Emphasis on respect for authority and family social unit  

- Loyalty to a just leadership  

- Social stability  

- Too much freedom is dangerous  

Social duty

- Communitarianism  

- Individual duties to keep up the social order and family structure  

Ends Justifies the Means/Means over Ends

- James/ Dewey- Truth and ethics are processes not ends  

- Marx- ends justify the means- the ends may be justified to achieve the greatest result  - Kant- means are paramount over the ends- never compromise ethical means to achieve an  end  

- Machiavelli- ends justify the means- success is what counts- Pragmatic  

Dialectic process

- Hegel- Influenced Marx  

- History is working out of new problems  

- History contains the seeds of its own destruction- humans can’t outfox history  

Doctrine of Unintended Consequences

- Golden rule

- There may be other consequences for your actions that you haven’t thought about  - Merton


- Marx  

- Communism  

- Right of the people to rise up to capitalist oppression of workers  

- Ends justify the means  

- Still, sometimes there needs to be an elite class to lead  

- Emphasis on the collective state  

- Faith of ability of masses to achieve an egalitarian utopia

From each according to ability, to each according to need

- Marx  

- Duties, responsibilities, and rights are to be given to each based on ability and need  


- Kierkegaard/Jaspars/Sartre/Camus (Existentialists)  

- Common with stoic in Greece- Not strong religious and construct of meaning  - A philosophy for people without a philosophy

Importance of individual authenticity

- Existentialists  

- Go your own path even if it is difficult  

- Individuality as a means to advancement and individual liberty  

Respect the rebel

- Existentialists  

- Change yourself before you change society  

- Rebels are critical to the world  

- Willingness to go on even though you don’t have a belief or faith  


- James/ Dewey – Machiavelli  

- Practicality as the best philosophy for America – not tied down to religion or policies  - Truth is always changing  

- Truth is a process and not an end  

- Testing oneself in the world  

- Ethics are relative and changing  

- Ends justify the means  

Truth is never absolute

- Ethics are always changing so policy and religion should too  

- Truth is a process not an end  

- Ethics are relative  

Importance of experimentation, empiricism, and taking action

- James and Dewey pragmatists  

- Seeking truth (proper ethics) is a process never an end

- Open to experimentation and teaches that we have to modify philosophy to adapt to a  modern world

- Ethics are always changing so we need to experiment to make them more modern  

Civil Religion

- Many secular guidelines about ethical conduct rely upon religious traditions and codes  but often don’t recognize it. This phenomenon has been called "civil religion" and it is  often seen as operating strongly in American Culture

- Constitution written and media founded when people accepted Christianity and it was the  presumed religion

- 20th century separation of church and state to move religion out of public when public  law and values still come from religion  

- Americans are more religious than most, especially Europe


- Milton  

- Market place of ideas should represent rigid objectivity and present both sides equally  - Argue for and against  

- Let people debate and do not censor  

Principal of veracity/lying may benefit you but undermines collective trust - Veracity is conforming to facts and being truthful  


Public’s Right to Know

- Importance on the sharing of information

- Plato believed this was true for literate people – knowing does good in society  - Mill for the marketplace of ideas – seeking of truth  

- Foundation of a democracy  

Do No Harm

- A big part of the SPJ Code of Ethics that wasn’t in the original code  - Follows the golden rule, a main principle in many other philosophies and religions  - When is it ok to harm a source? If the source did something wrong? Think about  prophetic journalism  

Bloggers’ Code of Ethics

- Emphasizes transparency over unbiased  

- Opinionated and targets niche audiences  

- Credibility is still important  

- Less standards than the SPJ code of ethics  

Society of Professional Journalists’ Code


- Accuracy  

- Updating  

- Transparency  

- Credibility  

- SPJ is more specific and holds higher restrictions and standards  

Minimize harm  

- Accuracy  

- Privacy  

- Journalism as a watchdog  

- Compassion  

- Diversity, affect public and source  

- Legal access differs from ethical access sometimes  

- Don’t pander to lurid curiosity  

- Bloggers not included in code- don’t consider all the effects of their posts  

Act independently  

- Avoid conflict of interest- what is and isn't in adds

- "news" can sometimes act like adds or adds framed as news  

- Avoid gifts and offerings from sources  

- Bloggers are acting independently from company


- Answering questions  

- Owning mistakes  

- Calling out unethical journalism

Bench-Bar Press guidelines

What should the press do when reporting on court cases?  

Accurate and responsible reporting  

- Non-bias- no prejudice  

- Seek to ensure fair trial- preserve courtroom decorum  

- Decide content, recognize readers and viewers are potential jurors  

- Know constitutional rights of fair trail- freedom of the press

- Contribute to openness and fairness- evaluate information  

- Restraint in reporting information not given to jurors  

Appropriate to report defendant's:  

- Name, age, residence, employment, marital status within accuracy, relevance, good  taste, and judgement  

- Charge, complain, indictment, complaining party within reason  

- Identification of investigating and arresting agency, length of time, sentence  - Time and place of arrest, any resistance, pursuit, possession, use of weapons, items  seized at the time of arrest  

Allowed but be careful with making public- creates dangers of prejudice:  - Opinions about defendant  

- Admissions, confessions or contents of statement  

- Opinions about results of investigative procedures like fingerprints, examinations, tests  - Credibility statements  

- Opinions of evidence or argument  

Prior convictions are public record and can be published  

Photos are ok only to enlist public assistance in apprehension of a suspect- not in the courtroom  

The journalist's role is to make Public the statements and to report information and educate the  public on what is going on in their community and should not influence the trial in any way other  than to give the facts

The media should contribute to openness and fairness by careful evaluation of information that  may be kept from the jury at trial and by exercise of restraint in reporting that information

What should the Bar do?  

- Make available as much information on process as possible  

- Be unbiased  

- lawyers should be aware that the timing and nature of publicity they create may affect the  right to a fair trial. The public prosecutor should avoid taking unfair advantage of his that  position as an important source of news, even though the prosecutor should release  information about the administration of justice at the earliest appropriate times. - Provided education concerning constitutional rights  

- The bar should carefully consider the timing and nature of the publicity it creates - The bar and law enforcement officials should expect that their statements about a case  will be reported in the media. Such statements should be made in a time and manner  contributing to public understanding of law enforcement and the criminal justice system,  rather than influencing the outcome of a criminal trial.

What should the Bench do?  

- Make available as much information on process as possible  

- Be unbiased  

- Maintain courtroom decorum and order  

- Provide education concerning constitutional rights  

- The bench should help ensure both openness and fairness through commonly accepted  judicial procedures consistent with these principles.

Link to the Guideline document itself


Important individuals to know:


- Plato was Socrates's pupil and of a new generation who loved to read and write- literate  - Historical Irony- the only way we know so much about Socrates and his views on writing  are based on how much his student Plato wrote about him and their dialogues a. Know the Good is to Do the Good 

- People who knew and were educated about the good of society would be able to  do good in their society  

- Trust in people that if they know they will do the right thing- goes along with  journalism that public have the right to know and people will act if they know  

b. Philosopher King 

- Even though people modify themselves to societal values, it will not be enough  - There has to be a perfect Greek citizen that will act as an ethical king and have an  executive decision  

- EX: Abraham Lincoln told different things to different groups and we don't like to  be reminded that he lied sometimes- repealed habeus corpus- bad for journalists at the  time

- The reason we have a president- what if the senate chose the president instead?  c. Social Good Above Personal Freedom

d. Knowledge is like Shadow on a Cave Wall  

- The real world is a shadow of a much more real and spiritual world beyond  material values

- Idealism- a world exists that we can't fully understand except by spirit- logos  force  

e. Ideal Greek Citizen (Cardinal Virtues)  

- People will modify themselves to virtues of the society  

- We still live by these values- Need to sacrifice something for the greater good  f. Importance of Idealism  

g. Importance of the State


- Plato's student

- Embraced many but not all of his values  

- Christianity absorbed a lot of Aristotle's values and ethics and infused it in Jesus's  teachings  

a. The Golden Mean (Be moderate, search for the middle ground) 

- More individualistic and more faith in people's ability to be democratic

- Still for educated, literate, and prepared wealthy citizens  

- Compromise  

b. Importance of Individual  

c. Importance of Achieving Self Fulfillment and Happiness  

- Self-fulfillment and happiness leads to a better citizen because they have responsibility  and a reason to participate  

d. Danger of Collectivism  

- Danger of the government controlling people  

e. Use of Reason  

- Moderation and compromise

- Importance to the whole society even at some sacrifice  

f. Use of the Scientific Method  

g. Ethics are More Situational than Absolute  

- The world teaches us about ethics and character that are always moving  

- The importance of moderation and compromise- finding a middle ground for both sides  h. Importance of Developing Individual Character


- Poet, Thinker, writer, wealthy and respected protestant

- Wrote pamphlets anonymously because they were often against the higher power - Hypocritically, he persecuted Catholics who wrote about their views but was not  ostracized for his own  

a. Self-Righting Principle (In an Equal Contest between Truth and Falsehood, Truth will Prevail) - Most people in arguments would be wealthy and educated protestants  

- Still, there was nothing to fear from entering a discussion because truth would prevail - Not only would it win, but disagreement would make truth stronger by reinforcement  

b. Seeking to do God’s will

c. Marketplace of Ideas 

- Falsehood will make truth stronger because you have to wrestle with the conflict and  prove the truth  

- Rigid objectivity- present both sides and argue for and against  

- Let people debate and discuss and don't censor  


- A product of the English civil war

- Atheist  

- Very cynical about philosophy of human nature

- Anxious person  

- Civil war would tear up conflicts and create despair of others  

a. Security is Better than Anarchy (Social Contract) 

- Contract with the government to keep security  

b. Humans are Selfish, Brutish, and Violent (Desire versus Aversion) 

- Not interested in what people say but what they do  

- People do not have a clear perception of who they are  

c. Importance of the Leviathan 

- Metaphor for the monarchy  

d. Truth cannot be fully Understood  

e. Importance of Facts (Inventor of Social Science)


- Philosophical foundation for the US constitution

- His peak of ideas were 100 years before the constitution


a. Tabula Rasa  

- We are all born an empty slate and we fill it in life  

b. Importance of Individual (Social Contract)  

c. Science are God given Laws of Nature  

d. Reason is God given Path to Truth  

- God set the earth in motion and gave people the reason and mind to figure out how it  works  

- The laws of science and nature guide us  

- Divine sanctioned scientific view  

e. Natural Rights  

- Fundamental rights as individuals form traditions and customs that cannot be violated  by the government

- Magna Carta  

- Common law  

- Defined broadly  

- Motivated colonial legislature and revolution  

f. Majority Rule  

g. Right of Revolution  

- If an unjust ruler is in power, the people have a right to revolt and leave  - Social contract  

h. Ethics is Balancing Individual and Social Concerns  

i. Property is Good

- Helped people build character and to be good citizens


- Atheism/ agnostic  

- More skepticism as science became more popular  

a. Struggle of Custom versus Reason (or Impressions versus Ideas) 

- We live in a struggle because we are bread to accept customs but they don't tell us  everything  

- We have stereotypes that don’t give us a full picture - in our nature  

b. Importance of Development of Character  

c. Selflessness is an Innate Trait  

- Empathy too  

d. Value of Skepticism (We can only draw Probable Conclusions)

Helps to dispel stereotypes and get a clear view of an issue

Machiavelli- Italian advisor to Austrian prince  

a. Practical View of Ethics 

b. Ends Justify the Means  

c. Success is What Counts 

- Manipulative- changing values to obtain success

- This was important to his culture when the Austrian prince was in power because he  believed that it would be better for the country  

d. Bypass Ethics if Something Works

Rousseau- French Philosopher- radical especially in view from the British  

a. Faith in the People (Social Contract)  

- If the social contract is violated, the people have a right to revolution  

b. General Will (Seeking to Do What is in Good of Community) versus the Will of All  (Aggregate of Selfish Interests)  

- Faith in people that they will understand the good of the community even if it limits  their individual wishes sometimes  

c. Right of Populist Revolt  

d. Freedom Must be Tempered With Concern for Society  

e. Romantic Mysticism/Importance of Feeling and Passion  

- Mystic power of the people to change society if they were free to do so  - Trust in the common people, not the elites

- The idea that the child is father to the man

- If you give a child the space to grow and develop on its own, that child will grow to be  the best version of themselves

f. Fault of the World Blamed on Society, Not the Individual (We are born Free but are  everywhere in chains)  

g. Importance of Equality and Fraternity  

h. Property is Bad

- Makes people selfish and tolerate inequality

Voltaire - French and English influence on American values  

a. "I disapprove of what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it" - Iconic axiom as inspiration for journalism  

b. Many think of him as one of the first "advocacy" journalists/ believed in the education  function of journalism

c. Foe of organized religion but believed in a reasonable, "deist" God

- Science was developing and showed technology as sophisticated  

- God as the prime mover and started scientific law and that you followed God's path if  you followed scientific reason

d. Believed in toleration, rule of law, and freedom of opinion

- But still a just law with expression tempered  

e. Not a communitarian like Rousseau

- Yet still believed in the power of education and right to know  

f. Believed in general public was cruel and stupid  

- Wanted to see the history of regular people but did not trust general public  

g. Like Locke in his belief that God-given reason would lead people to empirical  discoveries and recognition of the greatness of creation

Thomas Paine  

a. Seen as one of the first "investigative" journalists  

- Moralistic - wrote articles accusing officials of making profits off arms  

b. A prophet of democracy  

c. Englishman who came to America and then almost immediately too up the cause of the  American revolutionary push to separate from England  

- Advocacy with George Washington  

- Propagandist for liberty  

d. Believed passionately in the "rights" of humankind  

e. Opposed aristocratic values and called for world uprising against aristocracy  

f. Believed that common people had natural wisdom to make democracy a success  - Common sense- using Lockes values that became a foundation for the revolution

g. Believed in passion and reason, but passion was his calling card  

h. Like Voltaire, a "deist" and vigorous foe of Christian orthodoxy  

i. "Prophetic" personality who was willing to suffer for his beliefs  

John Stuart Mill- Raised by his father to be "engineered" - the perfect genius  

a. Utilitarianism (The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number of People)  

- Journalists are not afraid to call out the miscreant in order to do the most good for the  most people  

- Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable  

b. Importance of Individual Liberty  

- Suffered a nervous breakdown and embraced the romantics with good in passion  - Developed modified libertarianism view  

c. Danger of Pressure to Conform  

- Industrial period where mass society is moving away from traditional ways of life and  working in factories  

- Advocated for expanding voting and democracy to include the mass society and  working class  

d. Modified Libertarianism (Only Limit on My Rights Is What Encroaches on Rights of Others)  e. Individual Happiness Flows to the Benefit of Society

Kant- German Philosopher Key thinker to this day- makes a case for modern physics  

a. Categorical Imperative (I Should Only Do What I Believe Should be a Binding Principle for  All)  

- Any ethical action should be binding for all  

b. Importance of Principle (Absolute Rational Rules that Govern Ethical Activity without  Exception)  

c. Importance of Duty  

d. Means are always Paramount over Ends

- A journalist should never sacrifice means in order to get a good story (never lie or cheat  or not reveal that you're a journalist)  

- Would not approve of setting up a sting operation even if the people you spy on are  wrong and need to be exposed  

- No gossip  

- Absolutist  

Nietzsche- German Philosopher  

a. Personal Creation of Values  

b. The Importance of the Morally Superior Person (Overman or Superman)  - Some people are so specially gifted, talented, or intelligent that they should be the one's  in power  

- Manic depression- starts to think of himself as grandiose in manic periods  

c. Beware of Taking Values from the Majority  

- Be ready to adapt and take your own path  

d. Importance of Passion and the Romantic Imagination

Confucius/Han Fei/Mo Tzu 

a. Emphasis on community and value of social unit  

- Communitarian- emphasis on respect for authority and family social unit  

b. Loyalty to leadership  

- Still gaging whether or not a leader was just  

c. Stress proper conduct  

d. Desire for social stability  

e. Too much freedom is dangerous

- Positive faith in individual people- people are social and want to be social- human  nature is social

Kierkegaard/Jaspars/Sartre/Camus (Existentialists)  

- Common with stoic in Greece- Not strong religious and construct of meaning  - A philosophy for people without a philosophy  

a. Importance of individual authenticity  

- Go your own path even if it's difficult  

b. Don’t sacrifice self to the collective

c. High respect for subjective orientation but respect for facts  

d. Value the rebel  

- Change yourself before you change society  

- Critical of the world

- Willingness to go on even though you don't have a belief  

e. Maturity demands realism and moderation  

f. Change self as a way to change society

James/Dewey (Pragmatists) practicality  

Argued this is the best philosophy for America - not tied down

a. Truth is never Absolute

- Always changing within society  

b. Seeking truth (proper ethics) is a process never an end

- Open to experimentation and teaches that we have to modify philosophy to adapt to a  modern world  

c. Emphasis upon action (testing oneself in the world)  

d. Emphasis upon experimentation  

e. Ethics tend to be relative  

- When is it ok to do harm to a source or someone you are writing about  - Ethical dilemmas are constantly changing  

f. Emphasis is upon what works (the pragmatic)

Hegel- German philosophy - core foundation that influenced Marx  

a. Dialectic process  

- History is working out of new problems  

- History contains the seeds of its own destruction- humans can't outfox history  b. Romantic idealism  

c. Faith in the state as the ultimate authority  

d. Goal is the romantic blending of the individual with the spirit of the culture

Marx- Class conflict in the industrial age  

The elite oppressing the working class  

a. Ends justify the means  

b. Violence may be necessary to achieve a higher end  

c. From each according to ability, to each according to need  

d. Emphasis on the collective, the state  

e. Necessity of an elite to lead the masses to right decisions  

- Sometimes there needs to be an elite class to lead- paradox?  

f. Romantic faith in ultimate ability of masses to achieve an egalitarian utopia. - You can outfox history  

- Believed in a world where workers would overthrow the elite and create the ideal  society

Sissela Bok 

- Lying may benefit you in some sense but it’s not a benefit to the people around you or  society as a whole.  

- A world in which people can tell the truth is much more beneficial to you and to society  in the long run because it makes truth seeking easier and then other things like education  become possible  

Old Testament prophets 

The Hebrews embraced writing early on before Jesus's time and kept sacred documents  These documents instructed Jews to maintain separateness from other cultures and religions  They believed in a monotheistic god, different from Baal  

If they mixed with other religions, their relationship with God would be compromised  Reading became a more widely held skill than writing- writing was a specialized skill

Paul- He was Hebrew born and trained in Roman Arts  

From Paul's letters- people kept them and interpreted them as Jesus as the coming god  Paul's letters were powerful because they could be kept and sent and they argued in well  written rhetoric for Jesus's teachings  

Spreading the good news- the letters became an evangelical movement  

Printing Press in 1400's- most important development in communication  ∙ This is why we have modern science and exploration  

∙ Printed accurate maps after explorers returned so others could build upon their work  ∙ Used imperial reasoning with discovery  

∙ Experiments, methods, findings, and conclusions were published  

∙ Spreading of knowledge was crucial to scientific advancement  

The 10 commandments are rooted in sense and universal values like the Golden rule as a logical  way to live with people in a society  

Reciprocity ethics like these were built into cultures like Greek, Roman, Hebrew, and modified in  Christianity  


Hebrew scriptures- 10 commandments  

∙ Reinforce reciprocity ethics  

∙ New testament became an evangelical movement  

∙ The New testament was written by people who bidn't know Jesus's miracles first hand  and were telling stories about the community  

∙ The cultural viewpoint was changing as Christianity spread  

Mathew- Jesus gave discussion of values - Sermon on the Mount  

It was a refinement of ethical values and scripture  

The golden rule spoke to no violence and seemed to contradict a lot of other Hebrew scriptures  about violence  

Parables were the main way to teach

∙ Folk stories and conclusions that went outside the cultural understanding- outside the  box and considered radical  

Jesus gets crucified for ethical standards that are at odds with common culture  People believe that there is something special about those ethics and being counter cultural  Christianity was persecuted until Constantine embraced it and it became beneficial to be  Christian  

To have a full relationship with god you have to sacrifice some things and parts of your life  Culture in which media and journalism grew up in

Key Points about ethics and religion

1. Ethical Codes can be seen as a part of a contract or compact with God  ∙ Journalism is sometimes at odds with common culture  

∙ Some values, principles, beliefs are larger than themselves  

∙ Commitment that’s different from other cultures  

2. People or whole cultures can be expected to be rewarded or punished by God based on  their ethical conduct  

∙ The idea that God rewards or punishes people on how well they follow God's rules  

3. Written spiritual texts are meant to be guidelines to help individuals make ethical  decisions  

∙ 10 commandments- not just guidelines but expectations- Hebrew profits outside Jewish  culture- against wealthy leaders  

∙ The Wealthy's treatment of the poor- interpret the reason the Jews were defeated  because they rose to a certain power and didn’t follow God's commands- success lost  touch with God  

∙ Jesus used parables to teach about ethics and his wisdom- oral folk tales that told a  story and lesson about ethics and tolerance- appealed to the illiterate majority but ran  counter to the culture of the time

∙ EX: the Good Samaritan

∙ Prophetic journalism  

∙ Muck-rakers- first stage of industrial age protest and expose of big business and industry  with ethical values like Christianity  

∙ The role of the press is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable  

4. Ethical decision-making by the individual is often done in tandem with prayer or other  activities that rely upon a faith that God can help a person arrive at the right ethical  decision

∙ The ethical decision is inside- trust yourself that you know what's right  

5. There is a stronger tension between the idea that ethical actions must follow strict  codified guidelines or whether ethics can be determined through the conscience of the  individual in relationship with God  

∙ The spirit of the law not the letter of the law  

∙ Consult your inner self and decide what the right thing to do is yourself  

6. The most radical of religious values- love one's enemy, give away one's possessions to  help the poor, be prepared to make great sacrifices for one's beliefs- are not routinely  followed in mainstream culture, no matter what the professed religious beliefs of people  ∙ Emphasizes sacrifice potentially because main figure was sacrificed for them  

7. There is great historical tension between religion as a radical, counter-culture  movement and religion as it became part of the establishment structure  

∙ Christianity became mainstream cultural values

8. There is historical tension between the notion that ethical actions will be rewarded or  punished in some real place (in heaven or hell) or whether that punishment (if it occurs)  takes place in one's conscience  

∙ Powerful ethical tools of control- follow teachings and rule or be punished  

9. The historical movement of ethics as part of religion is from authoritatively regulated  ethical conduct (the middle ages) to ethical actions as part of the individual religious  conscience (the protestant reformation) to ethics as something to be seen in more secular  terms (our modern times)

∙ Protestant reformation  

∙ Calvinism: 1600 movement- pay the church to improve relative's condition in the  afterlife

∙ Calvin- Swiss protestant- Variation of Luther - felt catholic teachings were inconsistent  with the bible  

∙ Predestination- God already chose who will go to heaven or hell before they were born  ∙ Geneva Switzerland- capitalist operators embraced theology- the goal in life is to see  and find evidence that you were one of the destined saved  

∙ Popular in business class because success was a marker of that salvation  ∙ Capitalism was intertwined with mass media  

∙ Lutherin and Calvin- core of protestant beliefs  

∙ To read the bible for themselves  

∙ Printing press facilitated this  

∙ Printing allowed colloquial languages that allowed common people to read the bible for  themselves  

∙ Moves toward individualism and democracy  

10. Many secular guidelines about ethical conduct rely upon religious traditions and codes  but often don’t recognize it. This phenomenon has been called "civil religion" and it is  often seen as operating strongly in American Culture

∙ Constitution written and media founded when people accepted Christianity and it was  the presumed religion

∙ 20th century separation of church and state to move religion out of public when public  law and values still come from religion  

∙ Americans are more religious than most, especially Europe  

Ethical frameworks to know:

Freedom versus Security

- Hobbes would say security is better than freedom  

- Locke would differ saying freedom is more important because it provides a kind of  security  

- Is freedom of speech worth the harm it can sometimes cause?  

- What is the price of free speech?  

Individual Liberty (Libertarianism versus Social Responsibility (Communitarianism) - Locke would say individual liberty over social security because security follows with  individual liberty- Hobbes opposite  

Democracy versus Authority

- Rousseau would say that people need democracy and have a right to revolt as well as  Locke  

- Hobbes would say dictatorship is better than anarchy

Optimism about (Trust in) Human Nature versus Pessimism (Cynicism) about Human Nature - Rousseau had optimism in human nature saying that the people will ultimately rule for the general will, or the good of all and society rather than put themselves first (faith in  humanity)  

- Hobbes said that humans are selfish and brutish and only act for themselves so we need  an outside acting force to keep us all in line and not destroy each other  

Absolute Truth versus Relative Truth

- Truth will prevail- market place of ideas  

- Ends justify the means  

- Means over ends  

Liberalism versus Conservatism

Sample questions:

Note before reading my response:

These answers are my best understanding and conclusion of the questions. They may  or may not be correct so study with discretion.  

1) Confucius and J.J. Rousseau would be considered:

a) Utilitarians

b) Pragmatists

c) Communitarians

d) Libertarians

e) None of the above

 2) The ”Golden Rule” is:

a) Associated with the thought of Aristotle

b) A concept that can be found in all the world’s major religions

c) A concept that can be found in Judeo-Christian thought

d) All of the above

e) b and c

 3) The General Will is a concept advanced by:

a) Hume

b) Rousseau

c) Voltaire

d) Confucius

e) Hegel

Sample Potter Box question:

You are a reporter for the Gannett newspaper on the island of Guam in the Pacific. The  island and your newspaper suffered a terrible blow after a hurricane swept over and did much  damage to island property. You learn that your editor has submitted the newspaper’s coverage of  the hurricane and the aftermath to the Pulitzer Prize committee for consideration in the breaking  news award category. Another reporter – who is married to the editor – shows you a copy of the  newspaper’s actual submission, the editor’s account of how the newspaper responded to the  storm, and the stories involved, including ones that were written by you. In the editor’s account, it  implies (but never states directly) that the newspaper published on the day after the hurricane  stories that were assembled on the day of the hurricane. The account does this with a crafty use of  dates in a timeline. What isn’t mentioned is that the newspaper actually was shut down on the day  after the hurricane, and it is only because of the way that the international date-line works that it  looks as if the newspaper was publishing on the day following the hurricane. Is this an ethical  dilemma? What are the values involved in this case? What are the principles? What are the  loyalties you face? What do you decide to do, if anything, to deal with this matter?  

Note before reading my response:

These are my personal choices for a potter box analysis. An analysis of this case could go in  many different ways, mine is just one of many the case could take. Also the decision I came  to is my own personal opinion which may be mirrored in my analysis. In the exam, we are  encouraged to state our own opinions. This is just one way of answering this question.  

Step 1. Define the ethical situation  

- Your newspaper, the Gennett, and the surrounding community was hit hard by a hurricane - You are a reporter  

- The editor submitted the Gennett’s work to the Pulitzer Prize board for breaking news coverage - Another reporter who is married to the editor shows you a copy of the submission - Implies but never states that it published the day after the hurricane  

- The Ganeet was shut down the day after the hurricane  

- Crafty international timeline  

Step 2. Define the values  

- Honesty – not being transparent about the newspaper shut down the day after may be lying  - Integrity – being ambiguous and tricky does not show integrity  

- Responsible Citizenship – Responsibility of the newspaper to be fully truthful in their roles responsible to cover the hurricane  

- Pursuit of Excellence – If you are doing things the easy way and not telling the whole truth, it may  not be excellent  

- Accountability – newspapers should also be held accountable for their reporting and practices of  gaining information and/or rewards  

- Credibility – if they are not telling he full truth it might hurt their credibility  

Step 3. Define the Principles  

- Professional or Employer codes of conduct- codes say to tell the whole truth and not implicitly lie  - Journalistic conscience – do you feel good about not revealing this part of the timeline?  - Public’s Right to know- the public have a right to know the great reporting you did, but also not be  

deceived – the paper did not run that day and public have a right to know that too  - Karma- what goes around comes around- the Pulitzer prize board might find out and then what?

- Do no harm- are you harming anyone by not making this clear?  

Step 4. Define the Loyalties  

- Self/career – are you only keeping this timeline ambiguous to get the prize for yourself and/or  your newspaper?  

- Employer – what will your editor do if you voice your concerns? Will they be upset with you?  - Industry – the newspaper will be very popular and benefit from the prize if it wins- is it a false  win? Is another paper more deserving?  

- Journalistic Mission – seek truth and report it. By not telling the prize board a detail, you are not  fully reporting the truth  

- Shareholders of the media company – they benefit from not telling the board, does the  community?  

- Feelings of audience – how will audience react if they find out or know that the newspaper didn’t  actually publish that day?  

- Professional reputation – reputation might be harmed if the board finds out or if the public then  distrusts the newspaper  

- Public’s right to know- the public need to know the whole truth  

What would you do?

Personally, I would voice my concerns to the other reporter and the editor and have a potter box discussion  with them. I would tell them about the ethical dilemmas it raises and what might happen if the Pulitzer  Prize board finds out about the truth of the timeline. I might discuss ways to resubmit the application with  the editor making the discrepancy clear and also stating reasons why we still deserve to be considered for  the prize with reporting. If they are still insistent on keeping the application as is and not saying anything to  the board, I would write a detailed message (email or letter) to the board explaining the newspaper’s  situation in reporting and why do or why we don’t deserve the prize.

Page Expired
It looks like your free minutes have expired! Lucky for you we have all the content you need, just sign up here