Monday, December 5, 2011

Exercising Personal Conscience

Our journalism students have completed their second reflection papers on our text, The Elements of Journalism.  Below is an excerpt from Michael Khong's paper; he chose to reflect on the role of conscience in journalism:

St. Ignatius, the founder of the Society of Jesus, advises that we should examine our conscience twice a day: at noon and before going to bed.  I thought that the notion of an examination of conscience was strictly a matter of religion, but when I read chapter 10 of The Elements of Journalism, I was totally surprised that the authors mention journalists have a responsibility of conscience . . . 

Exercising personal conscience helps journalists be held accountable for their work.  In doing so, they are able to receive both positive and negative feedback from the public.  If journalists will examine their conscience, they will be able to offer a public apology to the readers when they make a mistake and accept it as a lesson to correct what has been done in error by them.  This also allows journalists to provide a forum for public criticism and compromise and brings journalists and the readers closer together (166).

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