Those of you who write online but have never had the opportunity to study journalism formally may enjoy a full UCLA course that has been published for free on YouTube. The course, Journalistic Ethics, is taught by Jim Newton, an adjunct professor at UCLA, better known as an Editor-at-Large and member of the Editorial Board for the L.A. Times, a newspaper he has served for over twenty years.
The course consists of 13 lectures, each roughly an hour in length, covering a wide variety of ethical issues that he helpfully illustrates with examples from his career at the LA Times. Unfortunately, the audio quality is very poor for the first two lectures, but it improves significantly thereafter. Following the recent ethical debacles in the coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings, perhaps every journalist take the time to refresh his or her memory on these principles.
Don’t write? Photojournalists have an equally important ethical obligation to uphold. Paul M. Lester’s free online book “Photojournalism: An Ethical Approach” provides an excellent foundation in the subject, and his site provides numerous links for further, perhaps more contemporary, reading.
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