Confronted daily with decisions on how to present their stories, what to write and what not to write, journalists and the media are frequently accused of sensationalizing, of choosing to report the bad news, and of misquoting those they interview. In this substantially updated edition of Morals and the Media, Nick Russell addresses many of the concerns the public has about the media as he examines why the media behave the way they do. He also discusses how values have been developed and applied and suggests value systems that can be used to judge special situations.
This revised edition covers the many changes in the Canadian media in the last decade, including further concentration of media ownership, media convergence, online journalism, the rise of the web log, and the tightening economic pressures on the industry as a whole. While much of the debate in this field has focused on conditions in the United States, Russell points out that the ethical issues that arise in Canada are often substantially different from those in the US. He has also added new "Tough Calls" at the end of each chapter, inviting readers to test their own ethics in scenarios drawn from real news stories.
Morals and the Media will be essential reading in journalism courses as well as an important resource for journalists. It will also be of interest to the consumers of journalism - the readers, listeners, and watchers - who wonder why the media do what they do.
Nick Russell is a former journalist who taught in the School of Journalism at the University of Regina. He is well known for conducting ethics and editing workshops for working journalists. He lives in Victoria.