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 presents an inside of examine how newshounds and applicants do their jobs. From the screening strategy information companies use to choose which applicants to hide, to the truth-testing of political advertisements, to the controversies surrounding election evening projections, this paintings articulates the most important moral questions and is helping readers of their look for solutions. As a political communications textual content, Campaigns and moral sense appears to be like on the many elements of political journalism: what newshounds want to know prior to overlaying a crusade; the way to process the nature factor; the way 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 probably the most strong quasi-political institutions--the press itself.

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That phrase became famous during the Vietnam War when an admiral was unhappy with reporter Malcolm Browne, whose tough reporting was dampening enthusiasm for the war. " 18 Although government officials may be quick to claim that joining the team will be in the nation's best interests, things don't always work out that way. A good example can be seen in news coverage of preparations for the American-backed invasion of Cuba in 1961. A New York Times reporter had gathered convincing information that anti-Castro Cubans, with the blessing of the Kennedy administration, were preparing to invade their homeland.

When measuring coverage's impact on voters, more JOURNALISTS' COMPETENCE 23 weight should be given to stories appearing late in the campaign, when many people are making up their minds about how to vote. — The decreased significance of traditional news coverage because of the unprecedented access of candidates to "new news" talk shows outside mainstream journalism. Bush and his challengers could dodge hostile journalists and still reach the public (more about this later in this chapter). All these hard-to-measure factors presumably influenced voters, some more than others.

Similarly complicated are nominating procedures, which vary state by state and party by party. During each presidential year, for instance, news consumers puzzle over the intricacies of the Iowa caucuses, which are the first formal steps in selecting the delegates who eventually will pick the presidential nominee. Rarely does a campaign go by without some controversy about filing deadlines, slate composition, or other such baffling matters. The journalist's responsibility is to watch all this carefully and report about it knowledgeably.

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