The application of teleological and deontological codes of ethics to journalism

o'brien, zoie louise (2012) The application of teleological and deontological codes of ethics to journalism. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    Following one the biggest scandals in the history of British journalism, Prime Minister David Cameron, has called for change in the regulation of the UK press. The ethics of journalists nationwide came into question after News of the World journalists illegally hacked into phones belonging to celebrities, members of the royal family and even victims of crime. After the conclusion of the Leveson Inquiry, Lord Justice Leveson, will make recommendations for the future of press regulation, something which will affect not only the press, but the entire country.

    Before the recommendations are made this dissertation considers the current ethics of British journalists, and the various stances which they are free to take. It will highlight issues surrounding the possible application of one single code of ethics to the work of each and every journalist, for the press and the public. The dissertation will do this by discussing the two most applicable philosophical ethical codes, deontology and teleology, in relation to the job of a journalist. The codes are applied individually to the working practices of a journalist today, and discussed comparatively. This will show the problems with the assumption that there could ever be one universal model. The dissertation considers the various debates surrounding the ethics of a journalist including the concept of the fourth estate and the belief that ethics no longer apply to the profession.

    In the conclusion the dissertation argues that journalism is at present teleological. Despite this conclusion however it suggests that some of the best moral guidelines for an ethical journalist can be found in William David Ross’s Deontology. The conclusion suggests a deontological universal model.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2012 15:11
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 12:05
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/8546

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