Journalism Ethics at the Crossroads : Democracy, Fake News, and the News Crisis book cover
1st Edition

Journalism Ethics at the Crossroads
Democracy, Fake News, and the News Crisis

ISBN 9780367197285
Published September 30, 2021 by Routledge
308 Pages

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Book Description

This book provides journalism students with an easy-to-read yet theoretically rich guide to the dialectics, contradictions, problems, and promises encapsulated in the term ‘journalism ethics’.

Offering an overview of a series of crises that have shaken global journalism to its foundations in the last decade, including the coronavirus pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the 2020 US presidential election, the book explores the structural and ethical problems that shape the journalism industry today. The authors discuss the three principle existential crises that continue to plague the news industry: a failing business model, technological disruption, and growing public mistrust of journalism. Other topics covered include social media ethics, privacy concerns, chequebook journalism, as well as a new analysis of journalism theory that critiques the well-worn tropes of objectivity, the Fourth Estate, freedom of the press, and the marketplace of ideas to develop a sophisticated materialist reimagining of journalism ethics.

This is a key text for students of journalism, mass communication, and media ethics, as well as for academics, researchers, and communications professionals interested in contemporary journalism ethics.

Table of Contents

Preface: Not the book we started with

Introduction: Ethics, Trust and the Crisis of Journalism

Chapter 1: News in Crisis: Responding to the Pandemic

Chapter 2: News in Crisis: Responding to Black Lives Matter

Chapter 3: News in Crisis: The Fake news crisis

Chapter 4: News in crisis: Digital Disruption

Chapter 5: News in Crisis: The economic collapse of the news industry

Chapter 6: The crisis of legitimacy

Chapter 7: Journalism and social media: An ethical minefield?

Chapter 8: Is it time to abandon privacy?

Chapter 9: Dubious methods

Chapter 10: The importance of whistleblowers and source protection

Chapter 11: Journalism under threat

Chapter 12: Journalism, ethics and philosophy

Chapter 13: A crisis in epistemology and ideology

Chapter 14: (Re)introducing the dialectic: Hegel and Merrill

Chapter 15: ‘Standing Merrill on his feet’: Journalism and materialism

Chapter 16: Dialectic in action: Revisiting key issues in ethics

Chapter 17: Rebuilding trust in journalism: An ethical imperative



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Roger Patching has spent more than half a century as a journalist and a journalism educator. He worked for nearly 20 years in daily journalism for a newspaper, radio station, and TV station in Adelaide, South Australia, before moving to Sydney to work for the international media wire service Australian Associated Press, followed by a decade with the national broadcaster ABC in Brisbane. Then followed more than 30 years at various Australian universities, teaching broadcast journalism, sports reporting, and ethics. He is a life member of the national journalism educators’ association JERAA. Roger has co-authored nine journalism texts. This is his fourth collaboration with Dr Hirst.

Martin Hirst is a founding director of the Centre for Journalism, Media and Democracy at AUT University in Auckland, NZ, and co-editor of the journal Political Economy of Communication, published by the International Association for Media and Communication Research. Martin is the author of News 2.0 (Allen & Unwin 2011) and Navigating Social Journalism (Routledge 2018). He has collaborated with other writers on From Broadcast to Narrowcast: Communication and New Media (Oxford 2007), Scooped: The Politics and Power of Journalism in Aotearoa New Zealand (AUT Press 2012), and So You Want to Be a Journalist (Cambridge 2012). Martin spent 20 years in journalism and a similar number of years in academia. He now writes and paints from his studio in Melbourne.