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Journalism Law & Ethics

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Julie C

on 16 August 2013

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Transcript of Journalism Law & Ethics

Journalism Law & Ethics
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Freedom of Religion
How can you tell the U.S. permits freedom of religion?
What features on the Internet allows people to exercise freedom of speech?
Freedom of Speech
Thanks to freedom of the press, what can U.S. newspapers print that other countries wouldn't be able to print?
Freedom of the Press
Give an example of people exercising their right to peaceably assemble.
Freedom of Assembly
Overall, what's positive about the First Amendment?
Now consider what's negative about the First Amendment?
Tinker V. Des Moines 1969
First Amendment Landmark Cases
Imagine that you come to school wearing a shirt supporting war with Iran.
Mr. Shearburn says your shirt is too controversial and you'll need to go home and change.
He says that if you do not change, then you will be suspended.
How would you respond? Why?
During the Vietnam War, Mary Beth Tinker and several friends decided to protest the U.S.'s involvement in the Vietnam War by wearing black armbands to school.
They were suspended by the school for their actions.

13-year old Mary Beth Tinker and her 15-year old brother John wore black armbands to school in Des Moines, Iowa. They wanted to show their mourning for people killed in the Vietnam War and their support for a truce at Christmas.
The Tinker family filed lawsuit believing that the school was violating their First Amendment right to free speech by controlling what they were wearing.

The case made it all the way to the United States Supreme Court, where the justices decided that it was a violation of the students' rights. Justice Abe Fortas said, " It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate."

Bethel v. Fraser
Imagine that you were giving a speech for student council in front of the study body.
Your speech contained sexual innuendos to get a laugh from your classmates. Upon hearing the speech, Mr. Shearburn suspends you for five days and bans you from speaking at public school functions.
How would you handle the situation? Why?
In 1986, Matt Fraser gave a speech about his friend running for student council Vice-President. He used words and phrases like "firm", "pound it in", "nail it to the wall", and "climax". The sexual references were obvious in his phrasing.

Matt was suspended by his principal.
Matt sued the school district, claiming that his First Amendment right to free speech was being violated by the suspension.
The Supreme Court ruled that the suspension was constitutional.
This limited student free-expression in schools if it was sexually vulgar.
This decision applied mainly to spoken speech, and had little bearing on the student press, although it is often cited along with Tinker and Hazelwood as a landmark case for student free expression.
Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier
Imagine that you are writing an article on teen pregnancy for The Titan Times.
Since you decide to focus on young mothers balancing motherhood and school, you include quotes from teen moms at CUHS.
Mr. Grundy hears about the story and orders you not to publish it.
Can Mr. Grundy do this? How would you react? Why?
In 1988, the Hazelwood student newspaper, The Spectrum, was planning to publish a feature about teenage pregnancy.
In the article, they interviewed a pregnant girl at their school, but they kept her anonymous in the story.

The principal reviewed the entire paper prior to being published and told the students that they could not run the story.
He said that even though the source was anonymous, he feared that students would be able to tell who the article was describing.
This new ruling changed the ways that students had to act when creating their newspapers. Principals were now free to exercise their right to prior review and examine the copy before publication.
Principals then determine what could or could not be allowed in the student press.

7 Deadly Sins of Journalism
Plagiarism = passing off someone else's words or ideas as your own.
Plagiarism is the most harmful towards your credibility.
To Avoid Plagiarism: either rethink it, rework it, or attribute it.

Theft = obtaining information unlawfully or without a source's permission.
Theft is unethical and illegal.
Be aware of stealing notes, hacking e-mails, snatching papers, etc.

Bias = slanting a story by manipulating facts to sway readers' opinions
Reporters should never take sides.
Reports have a duty to tell the truth.


Deception = lying or misrepresenting yourself to obtain information
Deceiving people compromises your credibility.

Burning a Source = betraying the confidence of those who provide information for a story
Once you promise confidentiality, you must not reveal a source.
You also should not collect quotes for dishonest purposes such as to ridicule
a person.
Conflict of Interest = accepting gifts or favors from sources OR promoting social and political causes
Bribery can compromise your objectivity and ruin your reputation.

fabrication = making up quotes or imaginary sources or writing anything you know to be untrue
The reporter must not invent information.
Everything you write and quote must be verifiably true.
Journalism Standards & Qualities of a Journalist
Standards of Journalism
Seek truth and report it fully.
Give voice to the voiceless.
Minimize harm.
Be compassionate of those affected.
Do not lie, pose, or misrepresent yourself.
Qualities of a Journalist
Be Ethical: Do the right thing and pay attention to your sense of right and wrong.
Strive for Accuracy: Make sure information is correct (names, dates, locations, facts, etc.)
Preserve Your Credibility: Build a reputation for being right. Show your readers you can be trusted.
Maintain Your Integrity: Listen to your inner sense of knowing. Always be honest and stand by your principles.
Be Objective: Treat people and stories fairly and justly. Put aside personal opinions and be impartial.
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