ERIC Number: ED191070
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Aug
Reference Count: 0
A Functional Approach to Press Ethics and Performance.
Hvistendahl, J. K.
There are many indications that journalists are increasingly concerned about ethics and ethical behavior. However, the emphasis of this concern has been placed on reporter ethics. While the manner in which a reporter "ought" to function is certainly an important question, the manner in which a newspaper, broadcast station, or magazine as a whole performs may be a more important question. If institutions are defined as "individuals in patterns of interaction," then those persons in the institution, on whatever level, should be subject to the same ethical constraints as reporters. The term "performance ethics" might be used to describe the performance of the mass media in fulfilling their institutional function in the social system. If the media are to be considered organizations that have important functional consequences to the social system, more precise criteria as to how they "ought" to function should be generated. However, if performance ethics are to be applied at the institutional level, a taxonomy of desirable press functions also should be generated. Performance ethics, based on functionalism, could be the mechanism by which ethics could be applied to all individuals in the media on a broader, system-wide basis. (Author/FL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (63rd, Boston, MA, August 9-13, 1980).