CSS 441 Michigan State University Team Ethical Issues Paper

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The “main ideas” should be broken up into at least a couple of paragraphs each.

Question: Why does this situation present ethical issues? Should the photo run in the paper?

  • Intro: what is the code of ethics in journalism? Why is it important? Handout 2
    • Seek truth and report it
    • Minimize harm
    • Act independently
    • Be accountable
  • Main #1: why is this particular photo raising an issue?
    • What’s going on: a man went on a shooting rampage
    • Why this is particularly sensitive:
      • It happened at the printing plant next door to the paper
      • Reporters and photographers know victims
      • 8 people killed, 12 wounded
    • The photo:
      • Shooting victim Richard Barger, who’s body is lying on a conveyor belt in the basement of the printing plant
      • Some journalists on the paper know him and his family
    • Problems
      • Violence: is the photo too graphic? Will it disturb those who know him?
      • Privacy: does the paper have the right to print it without the family’s permission?
      • Insensitive: is the photo insensitive to Mr. Barger and the people who knew him?

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