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Chapter 2
 

HOW DO ETHICS AND CRITICAL THINKING APPLY TO EVERYDAY REPORTING?

 

Activities

Test questions & PDF

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In addition to the Chapter 2 synopsis and activiites, the PDF download includes the following quiz and exam questions and answers.

 

Quiz/exam questions bank

 

True/False instructions:  Please circle the correct answer.

 

1.  Stakeholders are the people who will or might be affected by an issue or event.  (True or False)  Answer: True

 

2.  Going after a story with the goal of winning a prestigious journalism prize is an example of focusing on external goods.  (True or False)  Answer: True

 

3.  A journalist should be concerned only with a real conflict of interest, not the mere appearance of such a conflict.  (True or False)  Answer: False

 

4.  To be factually accurate, quotes should correctly reflect what someone said, and their substance must also be true.  (True or False)  Answer: True

 

5.  The principle of freedom means, in part, that journalists should strive to protect the First Amendment and their right to report on the government and those in power.  (True or False)  Answer: True

 

Multiple choice instructions:  Please circle the correct answer.

 

6.  Which of the following best describes the idea of internal goods?  Answer: A

a.  The drive to seek excellence for its own sake.

b.  The drive to win the highest prize in journalism.

c.  Journalists’ salaries, benefits and bonuses.

d.  The desire to get a story first, no matter what the consequences.

 

7.  Which of the following best describes the principle of justice?  Answer: C

a.  This principle applies only to journalists who cover the Department of Justice.

b.  This principle requires journalists to work closely with law enforcement to bring criminals to justice.

c.  This principle focuses on journalists’ duty to ensure that all people are treated equally by those in power.

d.  All of the above.

 

8.  Which of the following best describes the principle of stewardship?  Answer: D

a.  Journalists are responsible for guarding and nurturing their profession.

b.  Journalists who are good stewards set out to do meaningful work that will reflect well on the profession.

c.  Journalists must think about how their actions can affect the profession as a whole.

d. All of the above.

 

9.  Which of the following best describes the principle of humaneness?  Answer: C

a.  Journalists should always allow sources to preview a story for accuracy ahead of publication, posting, or broadcast.

b.  Journalists should let the subjects of news stories decide whether their names should be included in a story.

c.  Journalists should show compassion to the subjects of news stories, which can include helping out in dangerous situations.

d.  Journalists should avoid asking sources tough questions if those questions will embarrass the sources.

 

10.  Which of the following is the best example of the term transparency in journalism?  Answer: A

a.  When a news organization makes a controversial decision, it explains the rationale behind that decision to readers or viewers.

b.  When a news organization is making a potentially controversial decision, the decision makers need to have that conversation in a glass-walled conference room.

c.  Journalists should use very basic language so their stories will be clear to someone reading at an eighth-grade level.

d.  Journalists should never keep a secret.

 

Short answer instructions:  In three or four sentences, please answer the following questions.

 

11.  Please define the following term and provide an example to illlustrate:  “conflict of interest”

 

Answer:  Along with providing an example, students should include: This means that the journalist and a source have a relationship that might infringe on the journalist’s autonomy and professional distance.  The reason for professional distance is to maintain credibility. When readers doubt a reporter’s independence, they might lose faith in journalism.

 

12.  Please define the following term and provide an example to illustrate:  “the principle of justice”

 

Answer: Along with providing an example, students should include: The principle of justice asks journalists to make sure that citizens are treated the same by those in power. No one should get special treatment, and no one should be arbitrarily discriminated against.  Stories should be fair to subjects, sources and audience members. 

 

13.  Please define the following term and provide an example to illustrate:  “the principle of stewardship”

 

Answer:  Along with providing an example, students should include: The principle of stewardship asks journalists to be responsible for guarding the profession, even nurturing it. This means that journalists need to think about how their actions can affect the profession as a whole.  It asks them to focus on internal, rather than external, goods. 

 

14.  Please define the following term and provide an example to illustrate:  “the principle of freedom and autonomy”

 

Answer:  Along with providing an example, students should include:  The principle of freedom asks journalists to resist government interference with their First Amendment freedoms and protections, as well as interference by other powerful interests. The principle also refers to autonomy, which means that reporters keep a professional distance from their sources, and even their audience, so that none of them can have undue influence on a story.

 

15.  Please define the following term and provide an example to illustrate:  “the principle of humaneness”

 

Answer:  Along with providing an example, students should include: The principle of humaneness says that reporters don’t have to be unfeeling chroniclers of events.  The principle of humaneness tempers the traditional injunction against becoming involved in the story with permission to help out in a dangerous situation or to show compassion to the subject of a story. Sometimes the balance between being a reporter who is impartial and also humane is difficult to strike.

 

16.  Please define the following term and provide an example to illustrate:  “the principle of truth telling”

 

Answer:  Along with providing an example, students should include:  The principle of truth telling has two parts, factual accuracy and contextual truth.  Factual accuracy means that good journalism is based on demonstrably accurate information.  Contextual truth means providing additional information, which can address the how or the why, to help audiences understand their world more fully.

 

Long answer instructions:  In 10 to 12 sentences, please answer the following questions.

 

17.  Please a.) define the terms “conflict of interest” and “an appearance of a conflict of interest,” b.) describe the difference between the two, and c.)  provide an example to illustrate the difference.

 

Answer: Along with providing an example, students should include: Conflict of interest means that the journalist and a source have a relationship that might infringe on the journalist’s autonomy and professional distance.  The reason for professional distance is to maintain credibility. When readers doubt a reporter’s independence, they might lose faith in journalism.  The appearance of a conflict of interest means that even if there is no real conflict, if it looks like there might be, the damage to the journalist’s credibility can be just as great.  So, one is an actual conflict and other is more about whether an audience member might even suspect that there’s a conflict.

 

18.  Suppose you are asked to contribute to a newsroom discussion regarding the following dilemma.  Using the principles to decide, a.) what would your three key points be, and b.) why?

 

Dilemma:  The textbook provided the following details of a fatal truck accident.

 

A man drove his truck off a 200-foot cliff into a ravine.

Authorities found him dead at the scene.

The driver was not wearing a seatbelt.

Authorities thought he might have had a heart attack.

The roads were in good condition.

It could have been foggy due to an area storm.

Empty and broken beer bottles were at the scene.

No one knew what led to the accident.

No one knew whether alcohol was a factor.

 

Answer:  Along with providing an example, students should reference at least three of the principles, and the justification should make clear that the student is applying the principles accurately.