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Journalism on the spot: Ethical dilemmas when covering trauma and the implications for journalism education


Journalism on the spot: Ethical dilemmas when covering trauma and the implications for journalism education

Amend, Elyse, Kay, Linda and Reilly, Rosemary C. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7274-4488 (2012) Journalism on the spot: Ethical dilemmas when covering trauma and the implications for journalism education. Journal of Mass Media Ethics, 27 (4). pp. 235-247. ISSN 0890-0523

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When covering traumatic events, novice journalists frequently face situations they are rarely prepared to resolve. This paper highlights ethical dilemmas faced by journalists, who participated in a focus group exploring the news media’s trauma coverage. Major themes included: professional obligations versus ethical responsibilities; journalists’ perceived status and roles; permissible harms, and inexperience. Instructional classroom simulations based on experiential learning theory can bridge the gap between the theory of ethical trauma reporting and realities journalists face when covering events that are often chaotic and unpredictable by their very nature. A simulation outline that can be used by journalism instructors is provided.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Applied Human Sciences
Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Journalism
Item Type:Article
Authors:Amend, Elyse and Kay, Linda and Reilly, Rosemary C.
Journal or Publication:Journal of Mass Media Ethics
Date:December 2012
  • This research was supported by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Ottawa, Canada.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):10.1080/08900523.2012.746113
Keywords:ethical dilemmas, media coverage of trauma, journalism education, classroom simulations for trauma coverage
ID Code:975071
Deposited By: Rosemary Reilly
Deposited On:21 Dec 2012 19:35
Last Modified:07 Dec 2020 20:41
Additional Information:Parts of this paper were presented at the 1st Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma, London, ON and at the International Conference of Journalism Research in the Public Interest in Zurich.


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