Business Ethics

Download Campaigns and Conscience: The Ethics of Political Journalism by Philip Seib PDF

By Philip Seib

Seib examines the moral concerns underlying the unstable dating among newshounds and politicians. It offers an inside of examine how journalists and applicants do their jobs. From the screening method information businesses use to determine which applicants to hide, to the truth-testing of political advertisements, to the controversies surrounding election evening projections, this paintings articulates an important moral questions and is helping readers of their look for solutions. As a political communications textual content, Campaigns and judgment of right and wrong seems on the many points of political journalism: what journalists want to know prior to overlaying a crusade; tips on how to method the nature factor; the way to stay alongside of the frantic speed of a crusade; why crusade advertisements could be lined as information; the attract and hazards of polls, projections, and endorsements; and, the accountability of the clicking to hide some of the most robust quasi-political institutions--the press itself.

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Sample text

This cadre comprises the most experienced political journalists. Their rigorous reporting is born of knowledge and cynicism, presumably in healthy balance. During the course of a long campaign, they usually bring to the surface essential facts about policies and personalities. Toughness in a reporter is a characteristic politicians may respect, but it's also something they're wary of. The office seeker and the news gatherer are natural adversaries. Of course, not all reporters are equally skilled or equally aggressive.

From Perot's standpoint, this was a smart move, because King was more worshipful than inquisitorial. Dealing with King (or Phil Donahue or Arsenio Hall) certainly seemed preferable to fending off barbs from the likes of Sam Donaldson. Relying on these programs plus massive amounts of paid advertising, Perot was able to minimize his dependence on standard news vehicles. Some harsh criticism was directed at this style of campaigning. Jonathan Yardley of the Washington Post noted the difference between the televised debates—admittedly far from flawless—and the talk shows: The debates may well prove to be as shallow and frivolous as everything else this campaign has unearthed, but their basic purpose is serious; whatever else they may be, the debates are not intended as entertainment, as show.

But, said Gonzalez, "Nobody paid any attention Hardly anyone came. " 5 Gonzalez realized that despite his presumed clout as a member of the House Banking Committee, his real power depended on news media power. He couldn't get the public's or other politicians' attention without press coverage. Intensive news coverage might have brought the crisis to a head sooner, saving taxpayers billions of dollars in mushrooming bailout costs. The S&L story is a good example of what can happen if journalists don't work hard enough or think carefully enough.

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