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Media Ethics Week 3 Notes

by: Kelsey Fagan

Media Ethics Week 3 Notes J 397

Marketplace > University of Oregon > Journalism > J 397 > Media Ethics Week 3 Notes
Kelsey Fagan
GPA 3.58

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About this Document

Notes for the third week of class.
Media Ethics
Jennifer Schwartz
Class Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kelsey Fagan on Saturday October 15, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to J 397 at University of Oregon taught by Jennifer Schwartz in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 17 views. For similar materials see Media Ethics in Journalism at University of Oregon.


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Date Created: 10/15/16
J397 Notes            Week 3 Day 5 (10/11) Code of Ethics  SPJ Code of Ethics: o Seek truth and report it: be accountable, balanced, fair, provide context, reserve  anonymity for special cases, allow accused to respond, never plagiarize, attribute  information, avoid undercover methods o Minimize harm: use sensitivity with those suffering, weigh public interest against  st th potential harm, be clear about consent, weigh the 1  with the 6 o Act Independently: avoid conflicts of interest, refuse gifts, do not pay for access,  label opinion and sponsored content o Be accountable and transparent: correct errors promptly, explain ethical choices,  expose unethical conduct *all these principles are meant to work together instead of as single principles  The press has an obligation to check the truthfulness of statements o Courts: press cannot knowingly and recklessly repeat a falsehood from a source­  must check facts that are readily available.  Examples: o 2006 Sago Mine collapse in West Virginia­ “12 miners found alive, 1 dead” was  printed in newspapers everywhere, but the truth was unfortunately the opposite o The woman that was held hostage in her own home by her husband­ photo  published of her running out of the house being covered by only a towel­story was newsworthy and important, but could have been published without the woman’s  photo o The NYT’s Malaysian Airline’s photo of a dead body­ was newsworthy, but the  photo could be harmful to the families affected by the accident o Judith Miller’s reporting:  She didn’t fact check  She didn’t balance public interest with potential harm   Used a high ranking official as a source­ used that power to get the  headlines­ she didn’t avoid influence  Wasn’t accountable and didn’t correct her errors   Video Example: a couple killed after shooting and killing 14 people and injuring many  others o Reporters swarmed the couple’s apartment after the FBI was finished with it’s  search and the landlord gave permission o They showed the couple’s private photos, the baby’s room, IDs, and religious  items o The reporters showed many personal items that didn’t minimize harm and could  have caused others harm from the pictures o The raid didn’t provide new information  o They did have permission to enter the apartment though o MSNBC and CNN apologized  Public Relations Society of America Code of Ethics J397 Notes            Week 3 o Values: Principles:  Advocacy ­free flow information  Honesty ­competition  Expertise ­disclosure of info  Independence ­safeguard confidence  Loyalty ­conflicts of interest  fairness ­chance the profession o Free flow info: cannot give away product to influence a columnist o Competition: cannot recruit employees or clients from a competitor o Disclosure: cannot create from groups, cannot lie by omission, cannot disseminate inaccuracies  Example:  Lord and Taylor paid 50 fashion influences to promote a dress  without noting it was sponsored (paid for)  Interview with Rick Berman 60 minutes­ “PR firm doubles as  ‘Independent Research Institute’” violates many of the PR  principles of ethics Day 6 (10/13) Code of Ethics Cont.   Examples (cont.): o Texas Gulf Sulphur (TGS) 1963­ found ore deposits in Canada, quietly purchased the land, and didn’t tell the public­ insiders quickly bought up the stocks­ rumors  began circulation about the discovery  Press finally released a statement claiming the majority of the land was  barren and there was only a small amount found (lies)  The company was fined for violating disclosure laws o Ballot Measure D (soda tax) in Berkeley 2014­ penny per ounce tax on sugary  drinks (soda, energy drinks, etc.) paid for by the distributors  Two sides­ one against that claimed the measure was “poorly written and  confusing”­ one for that went door­to­door to convince the public to vote  yes o West Valley, Utah part­time mayor that was also an employee of a PR firm used  false identities to write news stories praising the mayor  Safeguarding Confidences: o Cannot change jobs, take confidential information, and use that information in a  new position to the detriment of the former employer o Cannot intentionally leak proprietary information to the detriment of some other  party o Examples: J397 Notes            Week 3  PR professional and former Boston Globe editor Doug Bailey who worked with the Red Sox wrote an expose on a co­owner claiming “he was distant  and aloof” and revealed personal information.  Paula Deen representative talked to the media after leaving and essentially aired her dirty laundry about the celebrity  Conflicts of Interest o Cannot fail to mention that he/she has a strong financial interest in a client’s chief  competitor o Examples:  Canadian Journalist was suspended for conflict of interest­ was a  newscaster for Global TV and a co­owner of Buzz PR and featured his  clients on air.   Alaskan news reporter and co­owner of the Cannabis Club talked about  the campaign and didn’t disclose until the end of the segment that she was  a co­owner and then quit on air.   Enhance the Profession o A PRSA member cannot declare publicly that a product is safe when it isn’t  Advertising Ethics and Principles  Principles: o Truth (uphold) o Substantiation (support claims) o Comparisons (be true) o Bait Advertising (shall not use) o Guarantees and Warranties (be explicit and true) o Price claims (be true) o Testimonials (be real and honest) o Taste and Decency (uphold public decency)  Federal Trade Commission (FTC) o Regulates deceptive advertising  Misrepresentation  Omission  Misleading the consumer o Examples:  Kellogg’s Rice Krispie Cereal  Claimed to support child’s immunity­ couldn’t prove  Kellogg’s Frosted Mini Wheats  Claimed to boost attentiveness­ couldn’t prove  Splenda  “made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar”­ false claim  9/11 Soda display  violates taste and decency J397 Notes            Week 3  Luminosity  Claimed to prevent dementia­couldn’t prove  Bacardi Breezer  Violates taste and decency  Youth Code lotion  Claimed to boost genes and make you look younger­couldn’t prove


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