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Module 9: Journalism and the Free Press

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Journalism and the Free Press

Lesson Summary

Untitled Slide
The Role of the Media

There are standards in place, that describe the privileges and responsibilities of a free press in a free society.

Laws, statutes, and codes spell out in detail the conduct required of news organizations.

Good journalism flourishes where society respects and enforces the rule of law.

The use of compulsory government licensing encourages self-censorship and stifles dissent and debate.

A problem is created when governments define the truth by enacting insult laws.

Lesson Summary

Journalism and the Free Press

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Lesson Summary

Journalism and the Free Press

Framework for a Free Press

The liberty of the press is essential to the nature of a free state

By stopping speech before it is uttered, government stifles discussion and dissent.

Journalists’ access to government information is an essential tool for building and maintaining democracy.

Government’s power to regulate content differs between print and broadcast media.

Mandatory licensing of reporters has been justified as a means of ensuring that only qualified individuals engage in journalism and of keeping professional standards high

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Lesson Summary

Journalism and the Free Press

Responsibilities of Journalists

Codes of ethics, offer voluntary guidelines to help journalists make morally and professionally sound decisions

True objectivity has no moral compass and treats all facts and all viewpoints as equally deserving of respect

Opinion columns and editorial commentary should be clearly labeled and should neither distort nor falsify the facts that underlie the opinions

A journalist’s loyalty is to the public, not a particular government or regime

Those who speak anonymously still have an ethical obligation to be truthful

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An enterprising reporter might arrange to get an advance copy of the speech so he can be more aware of how the speech is delivered. Indeed, the reporter can write much of the story prior to the actual speech.

Reporters must be cautious, however, for the speaker who discards his speech for another, or for speakers who make important impromptu remarks during the course of their speeches.

End Of Unit