Murder in Our Midst: Comparing Crime Coverage Ethics in an Age of Globalized News

· Oxford University Press

About this ebook

As immigration, technological change, and globalization reshape the world, journalism plays a central role in shaping how the public adjusts to moral and material upheaval. This, in turn, raises the ethical stakes for journalism. In short, reporters have a choice in the way they tell these stories: They can spread panic and discontent or encourage adaptation and reconciliation. In Murder in Our Midst, Romayne Smith Fullerton and Maggie Jones Patterson compare journalists' crime coverage decisions in North America and select Western European countries as a key to examine culturally constructed concepts like privacy, public, public right to know, and justice. Drawing from sample news coverage, national and international codes of ethics and style guides, and close to 200 personal interviews with news professionals and academics, they highlight differences in crime news reporting practices and emphasize how crime stories both reflect and shape each nation's attitudes in unique ways. Murder in Our Midst is both an empirical look at varying journalistic styles and an ethical evaluation of whether particular story-telling approaches do or do not serve the practice of democracy.

About the author

Romayne Smith Fullerton is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies, at the University of Western Ontario, in London, Ontario, Canada. Along with a former student, she has authored a book about Canadian crime coverage, and over her many years in the field, she has written numerous book chapters, peer-reviewed articles, and opinion pieces and commentary about journalism ethics in Canada. Maggie Jones Patterson is professor of journalism at Duquesne University and former reporter for the Pittsburgh Press. She is the co-author of three previous books (Art Rooney: A Sporting Life, Behind the Lines: Case Studies in Investigative Reporting, and Birth or Abortion? Private Struggles in a Political World) as well as numerous book chapters, journal articles, and conference papers. She chairs the Duquesne University Student Publications Board, is Acting President of the Pittsburgh Society of Professional Journalists chapter, and sits on the Board of PublicSource, an online nonprofit news service for the Pittsburgh area.

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