featured a PF&R Panel sponsored by the Entertainment Studies Interest Group and the Media Ethics Division on “Journalism Ethics Goes to the Movies,” at 11:45 a.m., Friday, August 10, 2007
The panel was based on Howard Good’s new book, Journalism Ethics Goes to the Movies. Moderator and Presenter is Joe Saltzman, professor of journalism and director of the IJPC produced a 10-minute preview of a new IJPC Video, a companion piece to Good’s book. Each member of the panel contributed a chapter to Good’s book.
Howard Good, professor of journalism at New Paltz University, provided an introduction to journalism ethics and film. Berrin A. Beasley, assistant chair and associate professor in the department of communication at the University of North Florida summarized her chapter on truth-telling in the age of spin doctors in “Wag the Dog.” Saltzman talked about undercover reporting and deception using the films, “Mr. Deeds Goes To Town” and its remake, “Mr. Deeds.” Matthew Ehrlich, professor of journalism at the University of Illinois spoke on plagiarism and making up stories in “Shattered Glass,”
Since 1977, the number of journalism ethics courses at U.S. colleges and universities has tripled. This raises a rather embarrassing question: why, despite the huge growth in journalism ethics education, are journalists still seen as – and often are – rude, pushy, inaccurate, sensational, and callous? Movies provide vivid stories of journalists up against ethical dilemmas. Panel members explored major ethical issues using film to illustrate their points.