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Good News, Bad News: Journalism Ethics And The Public Interest (Critical Studies in Communication and in the Cultural Indust)

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ISBN-13: 978-0813329529
ISBN-10: 0813329523
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jeremy Iggers is a staff writer at the Minneapolis–St. Paul Star Tribune. Currently the Star Tribune’s restaurant critic, he has also written an ethics column and created several public journalism projects for the newspaper. He has a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Minnesota and has written extensively on food issues, ethics, and journalism. His last book, Garden of Eating, won the 1996 Minnesota Book Award for nonfiction.
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Product Details

  • Series: Critical Studies in Communication and in the Cultural Indust
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Westview Press (September 3, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813329523
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813329529
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,480,511 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Iggers begins his discussion about journalism ethics from a simple premise: "Journalism is in trouble." Citing a persistent urging of the public for journalists to become more ethical in their practices, Iggers explains that "the most fundamental problem is not the performance of the journalists but the standards themselves."
Iggers argues that the ethical discourse commonly inferred in the practice of journalism tends to ignore issues concerning the public interest and the social responsibility on which the press is founded. Environmental changes and the rise of market-driven journalism have caused a decline in the professional status of practicing journalists.
Ultimately, Iggers declares that the continued existance of journalism depends on a engaging the public in an open dialogue in which the public interest is central and practical goals are identified to help journalism "take as its foundation a commitment to enable citizens to participate in democratic life."
According to Iggers, part of the problem journalists have is an inability to discuss ethics in conceptual terms. Rather, most tend to discuss ethics in terms of cases, the most notable being the Janet Cooke case.
However, even in such cases, Iggers suggests that journalists do not often articulate the principles behind the cases, but tend to evaluate such examples on the merits of their effect in the relationship between the press and the public. Because of this, Iggers explains that the institutional values of journalism are not rooted in rules, but in evolving practices. And these practices appear to focus on making sure the journalist's ethical behavior cannot be questioned, invoking Gaye Tuchman's "defensive ritual.
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