Debate 1 and what happens when truth and accuracy differ?

Today we will:

  • Have five minute news roundup
  • Hold debate 1
  • Talk about law vs ethics and truth vs accuracy and leakers
  • Begin thinking about credibility of sources/anonymous sources
  • Reminder: Test 1 Tuesday

Will cover all readings, lectures, case studies AND include two ethics dilemmas for you to solve. I will supply SPJ Code and Bob Steele’s 10 questions.



Are laws always ethical?

Should journalists always follow the laws?

How journalists break laws (often in name of ethics)

  1. Defy the government
  2. Don’t reveal sources
  3. Go undercover – lie about who they are
  4. Test system — ABC plutonium/NYP airport security/School safety
  5. Protect criminals by not outing them

How journalists act illegally and unethically

  1. Steal information themselves via illegal means
  2. Plagiarism
  3. Fabrication





Watch the Academy Award winning film “All the President’s Men”

Come to class with a WRITTEN LIST (to be turned in) of three to five ethical and three to five unethical tactics Woodward and Bernstein used in their reporting of the story.

If you don’t know the history of Watergate, read about it BEFORE you watch the film.

History: Watergate




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