1st Edition

Ethical Reporting of Sensitive Topics

Edited By Ann Luce Copyright 2019
    308 Pages
    by Routledge

    308 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.

    1. Introduction
    2. Ann Luce

      Section One: Ethics, Responsibility and Self-Care

    3. Journalism Standards on the Job
    4. Chris Frost

    5. Learning to Cope with the Tough Times
    6. Lyn Barnes

      Section Two: Reporting Sensitive Topics

    7. Reporting Child Sexual Abuse
    8. Amanda Gearing

    9. Reporting Suicide
    10. Ann Luce

      Section Three: Reporting Violence

    11. Reporting Mass Shootings
    12. Glynn Greensmith

    13. Reporting Urban Violence and Gangs
    14. Mathew Charles

      Section Four: Reporting Health

    15. Reporting ‘Critical’ Health Journalism
    16. John Lister

    17. Reporting on Drugs, Diets, Devices and Other Health Interventions
    18. Kim Walsh-Childers

      Section Five: Reporting Science and the Environment

    19. Reporting Controversial Science
    20. Shelley Thompson & Hilary Stepien

    21. Reporting Climate Change
    22. Bob Wyss

    23. Reporting Natural Disasters in the Digital Age
    24. Amanda Gearing

      Section Six: Reporting Cultural, Ethnic and Geographical Difference

    25. Reporting on ‘Other’ Cultures
    26. Alex Wake

    27. Reporting on International Migration

    Jeremaiah Opiniano

    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.