Ethics in Journalism Teaching Modules

Rigorous, Responsible Journalists: Applying Social Theory to Media Praxis

This module introduces you to Social Responsibility Theory (SRT), requires you to apply it via media-coverage analysis of two international events, and invites you to use it in your individual code of conduct.

Author(s) Adam Kuban, Ball State Univeristy
Goal Identify the evolution and the five tenets of SRT.3, critically examine media performance of two related news events, and develop an individual, normative philosophy of SRT.
Application This module was developed in conjunction with a one-credit, five-week introductory research course, but could be applied to a number of different course types and schedules.
Length Five-weeks
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The Ethical Audit:  An Examination of News Sources’ Coverage Through an Ethical Lens

The SPJ Code calls on journalists to tell the story of diversity, to avoid stereotyping, to “give voice to the voiceless,” and to explore their own values. Media self-examinations have been undertaken over the years in which a group of ethical leaders defines common values, performs an audit, and creates a policy for making changes. Based on the historical perspectives of the Kerner Commission and the L.A. community’s response to the Rodney King verdict, this assignment exposes students to the need for theoretical and practical perspectives on how ethical frameworks are constructed in coverage of social and political issues.

Author(s) Sheila Webb and Carolyn Nielsen, Western Washington University
Goal Apply journalistic and ethical principles to the world of journalism and become a more aware/critical reader and viewer.
Application Major (quarter-long) project in a Mass Media Ethics class.
Length Quarter
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