Ethical Reporting of Sensitive Topics explores the underlying complexities that journalists may face when covering difficult news stories. Reporting on issues such as suicide, sexual abuse, or migration is a skill that is often glossed over in a journalist’s education. By combining theory and practice, this collection will correct this oversight and give journalists the expertise and understanding to report on these subjects responsibly and ethically.
Contributors to this volume are an international group of journalists-turned- academics, who share their first-hand experiences and unique professional insight into best ethical journalistic practice for reporting on sensitive topics. Drawing from a range of case studies, contributors discuss the most appropriate approach to, for example, describing a shooter who has killed a group of schoolchildren or interviewing someone who has lost everything in a natural disaster. Readers are invited to consider factors which have the potential to influence the reporting of these sorts of topics, including bias, sensationalism, conflict of interest, grief, vulnerability, and ignorance of one’s own privilege.
Ethical Reporting of Sensitive Topics aims to support all journalists, from students of journalism and individuals encountering a newsroom for the first time, to those veteran journalists or specialist journalists who seek to better their reporting skills.
Table of Contents
- Journalism Standards on the Job
- Learning to Cope with the Tough Times
- Reporting Child Sexual Abuse
- Reporting Suicide
- Reporting Mass Shootings
- Reporting Urban Violence and Gangs
- Reporting ‘Critical’ Health Journalism
- Reporting on Drugs, Diets, Devices and Other Health Interventions
- Reporting Controversial Science
- Reporting Climate Change
- Reporting Natural Disasters in the Digital Age
- Reporting on ‘Other’ Cultures
- Reporting on International Migration
Section One: Ethics, Responsibility and Self-Care
Section Two: Reporting Sensitive Topics
Section Three: Reporting Violence
Section Four: Reporting Health
Section Five: Reporting Science and the Environment
Shelley Thompson & Hilary Stepien
Section Six: Reporting Cultural, Ethnic and Geographical Difference
Conclusion: Further Hints and Tips
Ann Luce is a Principal Academic in Journalism and Communication at Bournemouth University, UK. She worked for nearly ten years in journalism in the United States. She is author of The Bridgend Suicides: Suicide and the Media (2016), and editor of Midwifery, Childbirth and the Media (2017). She currently sits on the World Media Task Force for the Reporting of Suicide.