Campaigns and Conscience: The Ethics of Political Journalism by Philip Seib

By Philip Seib

Seib examines the moral matters underlying the risky dating among reporters and politicians. It offers an inside of examine how newshounds and applicants do their jobs. From the screening technique information organisations use to make a decision which applicants to hide, to the truth-testing of political advertisements, to the controversies surrounding election evening projections, this paintings articulates an important moral questions and is helping readers of their look for solutions. As a political communications textual content, Campaigns and judgment of right and wrong seems to be on the many aspects of political journalism: what journalists want to know earlier than protecting a crusade; easy methods to technique the nature factor; tips to stay alongside of the frantic speed of a crusade; why crusade advertisements may be coated as information; the attract and risks of polls, projections, and endorsements; and, the accountability of the click to hide the most strong quasi-political institutions--the press itself.

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The journalist's responsibility is to watch all this carefully and report about it knowledgeably. The latter requires perpetual immersion in the arcane procedural maneuverings that many politicians seem to love. In the cosmic scheme of things, how a handful of Iowa delegates gets picked may seem inconsequential, but those news consumers who want to know about it deserve accurate and informative reporting. As with learning about campaign histories and political technology, mastering the rules of the game demands careful research.

The ethical responsibility is clear: once again, allegiance must be to the news consumer, not the news source. In this instance, according to Arlen, NBC's loyalties became muddled. WHAT'S AT STAKE 17 THE NEW ACTIVISM Not long after Arlen wrote that essay, the news business entered a period of rapid maturing and revived activism. The Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal were the principal catalysts. Journalists became aware of persistent misrepresentation by the government, first about the status of the war and then about the extent of White House involvement in a criminal conspiracy.

This had been a nagging problem for Democratic candidates. A good reporter would know about Dukakis's vulnerability on this issue and be able to draw the contrast between the two candidates. Mastering these topics is not necessarily a function of longevity. In fact, sometimes the correspondent who says, "I remember how it was when I covered Truman versus Dewey," remembers it wrong. Experience on the campaign trail helps, but well-organized research may be even more valuable. New Technologies Politics—especially on the national level—is increasingly dependent on computers, satellites, and other sophisticated tools.

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