A cross-cultural look at serving the public interest: American and Israeli journalists consider ethical scenarios

Berkowitz, D., Limor, Y. & Singer, J. (2004). A cross-cultural look at serving the public interest: American and Israeli journalists consider ethical scenarios. Journalism, 5(2), pp. 159-181. doi: 10.1177/146488490452001

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Abstract

This study explores how the social dimensions of a reporter’s world shape ethical decisions through parallel surveys of daily newspaper reporters in Israel and one Midwestern US state. Through regression analysis, we found that personal factors (gender, years of education) were not related to ethical decisions nor were professional factors (professional experience, professional membership, having studied journalism). In contrast, the social context element (country of practice) was relevant for two of three ethical situations. We also found that personal, professional and social dimensions varied in their utility to ethical decision-making from situation to situation. Considering a reporter’s ethical predisposition, this study found that personal value systems may be more important for ethical decision-making than formal written codes. This study suggests that ethical foundations shared across nations can create cultural bridges – but that diverging ethical perspectives also may create journalistic barriers.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: School of Arts > Department of Journalism
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/3464

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