Title

THE ETHICS OF INVISIBLE JOURNALISM

Presenter Information

Alyssa Rabil

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

In the quest to become an excellent journalist, sometimes the most basic aspects of human behavior are sacrificed. I want to examine the moral implications of asking a journalist to go into an area where people are in need and not offer any help. Is it realistic to believe that journalists are always part of the background and never interfere or play a part in the story? Do journalists become “part of the story” thereby risking the objectivity of the story as soon as they help? Does having a journalist in a disaster area have an effect on the outcome of the situation? Some argue that, in a disaster area, it is possible to devote time to helping people without that taking away from solid reporting. Others say that being a journalist is constant and that being an aid worker is not part of the job description. Is there value in experiencing the situation fully by becoming personally involved or does this always create bias that will later influence the story? I will examine this topic from a philosophical and professional perspective and support my conclusions with stories from sources who have been in this kind of ethical situation. I will speak with experienced philosophers who study theories of morality and ethics and I will closely examine the teachings of philosophers, including Kierkegaard and Nietzsche to determine whether a basic guideline for human behavior exists. I will also draw on the personal experiences of seasoned journalists and I will examine their behavior in times of crisis when people are in need. I aim to find out if humans have a basic obligation to help, and if we do not, what kind of emotional damage is done by recording, photographing, or writing about pain without stopping pain.

Category

Social Sciences

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Apr 15th, 5:00 PM Apr 15th, 5:20 PM

THE ETHICS OF INVISIBLE JOURNALISM

UC 332

In the quest to become an excellent journalist, sometimes the most basic aspects of human behavior are sacrificed. I want to examine the moral implications of asking a journalist to go into an area where people are in need and not offer any help. Is it realistic to believe that journalists are always part of the background and never interfere or play a part in the story? Do journalists become “part of the story” thereby risking the objectivity of the story as soon as they help? Does having a journalist in a disaster area have an effect on the outcome of the situation? Some argue that, in a disaster area, it is possible to devote time to helping people without that taking away from solid reporting. Others say that being a journalist is constant and that being an aid worker is not part of the job description. Is there value in experiencing the situation fully by becoming personally involved or does this always create bias that will later influence the story? I will examine this topic from a philosophical and professional perspective and support my conclusions with stories from sources who have been in this kind of ethical situation. I will speak with experienced philosophers who study theories of morality and ethics and I will closely examine the teachings of philosophers, including Kierkegaard and Nietzsche to determine whether a basic guideline for human behavior exists. I will also draw on the personal experiences of seasoned journalists and I will examine their behavior in times of crisis when people are in need. I aim to find out if humans have a basic obligation to help, and if we do not, what kind of emotional damage is done by recording, photographing, or writing about pain without stopping pain.