1st Edition

Pursuing an Ethic of Empathy in Journalism

By Janet Blank-Libra Copyright 2017
    232 Pages
    by Routledge

    232 Pages
    by Routledge

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    This book advances a journalistic theory of empathy, challenging long-held notions about how best to do journalism. Because the institution of journalism has typically equated empathy and compassion with bias, it has been slow to give the intelligence of the emotions a legitimate place in the reporting and writing process. Blank-Libra’s work locates the point at which the vast, multidisciplinary research on empathy intersects with the work of the journalist, revealing a reality that has always been so: journalists practice empathy as a way to connect but also as a form of inquiry, as sincere and legitimate in its goals and aspirations as is objectivity.


    [Geneva Overholser] 


    1. Introduction: Toward an Integrated Practice

    2. An Expanding Philosophy

    3. A Theoretical Examination of Empathy and Compassion

    4. Objectivity: A Timeworn Antipathy to Empathy

    5. Against Compassion: A Quagmire for Journalists

    6. Historically Intertwined: The Narrative and Empathy

    7. The Empathetic Journalist in the 21st Century

    8. A Model for Cultivating a Life of Empathy and Compassion

    9. Research and Reflection: Fueling Empathy

    10. The Moral Imagination: Reclaiming the Call

    11. Cultivating Ethical Relationships

    12. Empathetic Listening as a Journalistic Discipline

    13. For the Good of the Soul


    Janet Blank-Libra is Professor of English and Journalism at Augustana University, USA, where she teaches literature courses (fiction and nonfiction), photojournalism, ethics and law of the press, a variety of writing courses, and courses specific to the university’s honors program. She has twice received teaching awards and recently finished a three-year appointment as the recipient of an endowed chair that the university calls "The Chair of Moral Values," a rather weighty title that allowed her to bring ethical issues to the attention of the community.