Journalism 101

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Know Your J-Jargon

situation ethics: The philosophy that recognizes that a set of rules can be broken when circumstances dictate the community will be served better by it. For example, a journalist who believes it normally unethical to deceive a news source may be willing to conceal his or her identity to infiltrate a group operating illegally. News Reporting & Writing (Eighth Edition) by the Missouri Group. Copyright 2005. Reproduced by permission of Bedford/St. Martins.

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9 elements of journalism

There are nine elements of journalism, according to veteran journalists Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel:

  1. Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth.
  2.  Its first loyalty is to citizens
  3. Its essence is a discipline of verification.
  4. Its practitioners must maintain an independence from those they cover.
  5. It must serve as an independent monitor of power.
  6. It must provide a forum for public criticism and compromise.
  7. It must strive to make the significant interesting and relevant.
  8. It must keep the news comprehensive and proportional.
  9. Its practitioners must be allowed to exercise their personal conscience.

Find out more about "The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect" and read the book’s introduction here: