Ethical Journalism in a Populist Age

Ethical Journalism in a Populist Age : The Democratically Engaged Journalist

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"Fake news," "alternative facts," and daily attacks on the media from the Trump White House are redefining the media's role for a new generation. Mainstream media has traditionally allowed journalists two roles. In order to remain ethical, they must either be neutral observers reporting the facts or signal that they are biased interpreters espousing a partisan agenda.

In this provocative new work, leading global media ethicist Stephen Ward suggests that journalism needs to embrace a third path and begin practicing a new kind of journalism: democratically engaged journalism. It is only by breaking free of dualistic ethical practices that the world's media will be able to address `Trumpism'-a heady mix of populism, authoritarian leadership, narrow patriotism, and moral tribalism (Us versus Them). Weaving in rich examples from daily journalism, this timely book will address practical questions such as how to cover a constant torrent of presidential "tweets," how fact-checking plays a part in democratically engaged media, and how journalists should respond to the pressure to be patriotic in their coverage of global issues such as immigration and the impact of Trump's "America First" foreign policy.

At issue is the need to construct a new journalism ethics for today's social context. We need a new approach to journalism ethics not only to report on the Trump presidency but also for reporting in a digital, global world.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 232 pages
  • 161 x 235 x 23mm | 481g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 3 Tables, unspecified; 2 Halftones, black and white; 1 Illustrations, black and white
  • 1538110717
  • 9781538110713

Table of contents

Section 1: Problem of Journalism in a Time of Trump

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Why Radical Ethics?

Section 2: The Democratically Engaged Model

Chapter 3: The Idea of Democratically Engaged Journalists

Chapter 4: Pragmatic Objectivity: Objectivity within Engagement

Chapter 5: Serving the Republic-Problem of Patriotism
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Review quote

Stephen Ward is a public intellectual of the first order, challenging us to global citizenship in these dangerous times of net-powered extremism and authoritarian politics. This book is profoundly informed across history and geography, and philosophically astute on the morality of human flourishing. With its literary precision and theoretical elegance, Ethical Journalism in a Populist Age will become a classic equal to Lippmann's Public Opinion, Scanlon's What We Owe Each Other, and Dworkin's Sovereign Virtue. -- Clifford G. Christians, University of Illinois After decades of working in the trenches of real journalism and ethics theory, Stephen Ward offers a refined framework for how journalists should confront our globalized media world. In this book, he offers a valuable and highly relevant exploration of populism in world politics. This sets the stage for his provocative call to arms for 'democratically engaged journalism' to address the constant threat of demagogy. Meeting this call requires journalists to move beyond tired notions of western objectivity. Ward has made a valuable contribution to journalism ethics theorizing. -- Patrick Lee Plaisance, Don W. Davis Professor in Ethics, Pennsylvania State University At a time when democracy around the world seems threatened by raging populism, callous disregard for the truth, and persistent social and economic inequality, Ward's book reminds us of the crucial importance of ethically committed journalism. It sounds a warning that should resonate widely. -- Herman Wasserman, Professor of Media Studies at the University of Cape Town
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About Stephen J. a. Ward

Stephen J. A. Ward is an internationally recognized media ethicist, journalist, educator, consultant, keynote speaker and award-winning author. He resides in Fredericton, N.B., Canada.

He is Distinguished Lecturer in Ethics at the University of British Columbia. Ward was the first Burgess Chair of Journalism Ethics and founding Director of the Center for Journalism Ethics, School of Journalism and Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is former director of the Graduate School of Journalism, University of British Columbia and the George S. Turnbull Center at the University of Oregon's School of Journalism and Communication in Portland.

In journalism, Ward was a war correspondent, foreign reporter and newsroom manager for 14 years and has received a lifetime award for service to professional journalism in Canada.

He is the author of the award-winning The Invention of Journalism Ethics. His latest book, Radical Media Ethics (Wiley 2015), won the Tankard Award as the best academic book in journalism and mass communication, from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication in the United States.
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