ERIC Number: ED191045
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Aug
Reference Count: 0
The Influence of Dogmatism on Ethical Behavior of Journalistic Gatekeepers.
Black, Jay; And Others
A study was conducted to discover the interrelationships of journalists' belief systems and ethical systems and in particular to learn whether knowing the degree to which a journalist is open minded or close minded could help predict his or her ethical decision-making processes. A group of 54 professional journalists, journalism students, and journalism teachers completed four instruments: (1) a 32-item Q-sort deck reflecting L. Kohlberg's six stages of moral development, as a measure of ethical orientations; (2) a 32-item Q-sort deck of statements reflecting eight frequently discussed ethical situations faced by reporters and editors, as a measure of patterns of ethical behavior; (3) the Rokeach Dogmatism Scale, Form E, to measure open-mindedness; and (4) a demographic questionnaire. Results showed that if levels of dogmatism and type of preparation of a journalist are known, it is possible to predict his or her ethical behavior. In addition, they showed that if levels of dogmatism and types of ethical behavior are known, it is possible to predict a journalist's stage of moral development. The findings also indicated a significant interaction between ethical orientations and ethical situational behavior such that open-minded journalists are more likely to be those engaged in positive ethical behavior with relatively high levels of moral development. (Copies of the Q-sort questions are appended.) (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 Association for Education in Journalism (63rd, Boston, MA, August 9-13, 1980).