Should Journalists be 'Virtuous'? Mainstream News Production, Complex Media Organisations, and the Work of Nick Couldry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Critical debates about whether it is possible to formulate a ‘global media ethics’ have now become pressing given the increasing blurriness between some kinds of media practices, the transnational implications of the News International phone-hacking scandal, and the existence of a range of serious transnational problems, such as conflict, climate change and the recent global economic crisis. This article attempts to question Couldry’s recent assertion that the neo-Aristotelian virtues of ‘accuracy, sincerity and care’ can and should provide the normative foundation for all forms of media ethics.

To do this, I draw on my own experiences, as well as those of other journalists to argue that prescriptive, rule-based approaches are necessary to cope with the organisational complexity involved in some kinds of news organisations. I then outline the concerns I have about Couldry’s ability to construct a model of ‘good’ media practice on ‘minimally normative premises’, before proposing an alternative, utilitarian approach based on the work of Elliott, Sen and Hare.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)364-381
JournalJournalism
Volume15
Issue number3
Early online date30 Apr 2013
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2014

Keywords

  • Aristotle
  • global
  • international
  • journalism
  • news
  • norms
  • organisation
  • rules
  • transnational
  • utilitarianism
  • ethics

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