ERIC Number: ED188181
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-May
Reference Count: 0
Journalism Ethics and Moral Development: An Early Exploration.
Barney, Ralph D.; And Others
Q-sort methodolgy was used to examine the ethical and moral set of 61 professional journalists. The journalists completed a three-part instrument measuring their responses to ethical situations faced by newspeople, their underlying orientations, and their belief systems. Responses to the first part of the instrument yielded three profiles: Type A, characterized by a compassion for news sources and news audiences, a sensitivity to personal rights, and a disdain for manipulation; Type B, marked by a tendency to get news by whatever means necessary, if no innocent party is harmed; and Type C, characterized by a willingness to engage in situational ethics (except for a strong commitment to protecting news sources). Similar profiles emerged from the second part of the instrument, with all three groups (termed Types X, Y, and Z) demonstrating logical progressions through early Kohlberg stages of moral development and the majority of them leveling off at Kohlberg's Stage Five--demonstrating that most of the journalists had thought through ethical problems and were motivated by feelings of social contract and social utility. Responses to the third part of the instrument indicated that journalism tends to attract and nurture open-minded individuals. (FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (30th, Acapulco, Mexico, May 18-23, 1980).