Power, Ethics, and Journalism: Toward an Integrative Approach

Journal of Mass Media Ethics 19 (3-4):223-246 (2004)
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Abstract

Although we think 1 of the basic purposes of journalism is to provide information vital to enhancing citizen autonomy, we also see this goal as being in direct tension with the power news media hold and wield, power that may serve to undercut, rather than enhance, citizen autonomy. We argue that the news media are ethically constrained by proceduralism, resulting in journalists asserting power inappropriately at the individual level, and unwittingly surrendering moral authority institutionally and globally. Anonymity, institutionalization, and routinization cloak power relationships among citizens, journalists and the institutions of which they are a part, ultimately inculcating these distinctly Western values in the global community.

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Christopher Meyers
California State University, Bakersfield