Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Sleeping with the enemy

Absence of Malice.....What a great movie. Remember the scene when Michael and Megan (Paul and Sally) go out to the restaraunt for dinner and drinks? Megan is enjoying her wine and giggling profusely about a funny story from her past. Realizing that she is acting too silly, the mood suddenly becomes somber. Michael gazes at her with those baby blue eyes. Megan has a light go on in her head....."Ah Haa", she says..."You're trying to hustle me"! He subtly agrees and tells her that he needs to get to know her better FAST. I pose a question. Did Micheal want to seduce Megan to get to know her fast? Was he falling for her? OR Did Michael want to get to know Megan better fast in order to gain intimacy (genuine or not) and possibly more information concerning Megan's unrevealed source? What would Kant think about "using" someone like this? Was Megan going to be the means to an end? On the way home Michael sees that they are being followed...so their night ends. Hmmmm!

Planting Roots--a journey of ethical reasoning

When I was young I'm sure my ethical structure was based of that of my parents. Considering my background, I'm sure they weren't perfect, probably a little perverse in areas. But I was innocent in most aspects of life. I grew up on a farm. My family weren't farmers by trade but that didn't keep me from learning the finer things in life the old fashion way. I'm sure that my ethics system has matured as I have gotten older, but I'm not sure that is always a good thing. Sometimes I miss the simple innocence of childhood. It was easier when actions were simply right or wrong, and you didn't have to worry about the gray area. I don't think I have a specific theory I embrace, but I do think I take the best of all the options. I'm sure my religious affiliation has a serious impact on my view of the world. In fact, of all the ethical value option out there, religion is the one I practice the most and that guides me through most of my moral paradoxes.

Part of all that I have met

Like so many others who have posted, it is hard for me to determine the exact beginnings of my current ethics and philosophy. I have to attribute the foundatoins of it to my wonderful parents who taught me in word and by example much of what I still believe and attempt to live. They always taught me to be kind, courteous, fair, and unoffensive. I remember lessons on honesty, vulgarity, and other such things, and the fixed punishments for misbehavior. They weren't abusive or controlling, but loving and supportive, giving me respect and freedom. Their disappointment was more motivating to me than any physical punishment. I wanted to live a good life to make them proud of me and become the type of people they were. As with most children, the "Golden Rule" was stressed heavily.
Other factors that contributed heavily to my ethical growth include: religeon, friends, teachers, and life experience. Religeon was stressed heavily in my early years, and since I have come to choose for myself and found it my own belief from which I base most of my ethical standpoint. I am LDS and try to live by the standards taught therein. I have lived in a predominantly LDS community most of my life, and therefore been influinced by many, many people of my own faith. My friends have not always been LDS but have often shared the same values and reinforced in me my convictions of what is ethical and what isn't. These influences have produced in me what I would mainly call pluralistic values.
The other main factor that contributes to my ethical standpoint is a utalitarian streak that I believe is the foundation of much of the United State's constitution. While I am a religeous person, I don't believe that those views should be forced on anybody. I believe that ethics, especially in the media, require a utalitarian view if they are to function properly. Not everybody will believe the same or feel the same; therefore, it is the responsiblility of the media, and even the government to do what is best for the greatest number of people. I will say that there is more to it than that, we shouldn't blatantly cause harm to another included party, but ovelrall, I think this is a utalitarian view.
I find it interesting to note that my ethical views are slightly different when in different circumstances. In a government position I believe in different ethics than I do on a personal level. Ethics, to me, are very circumstantial.

My roots: a journey

My ethical roots seem somewhat complex because my parents used different methods as I grew older. As a young child everything seemed fairly simple. There were Kantian rules set in my house, and my mom enforced them strictly. There were certain things that were not allowed under any circumstances, and with seven brothers and sisters, someone always knew if someone else was breaking one of those rules.

This stage didn't last long. My parents believe in teaching people to think for themselves. As I grew older, I found out that the world is more complex than I thought. By the time I was about 12, my parents were telling me that they had done their job, and it was time for me to make my own decisions. Then they would always add that I shouldn't complain to them if I made the wrong choice.

As I've learned to think for myself, I can see many different ethical philosophies within my own. Because of my upbringing, there is still a little bit of Kant in me, but that way of thinking has been pushed back. I like to think things through and consider all possible choices and outcomes. I tend to make decisions based on caring for others, and I tend to look at each individual instead of what's best for the group as a whole. In the end, I think my meshing of philosophies most reflects Ross and duty-based ethics. There are certain duties, but they are conditional. Each situation has to be evaluated in order for me to determine the best choice and the most important duty.

The journey of my ethics...

For me, they didn't fully develop until after I stopped going to church. Previously, everything I did was pretty much reflective of an egoist. I wanted to be a good person so that I could make it to heaven. Because of some loop-holes in the religion I felt that I could be a pretty scummy person and still come out on top. That left me in the best of two worlds, I could pretty much do what I wanted, and still get my way in the end. It was a lame way to live.

In the years since my confirmation, graduation, college and countless friendships that have come and gone, I see the world through different eyes. I now live by some sort of a golden rule/utilitarianist/egoist mix. I'm probably some sort of an ethical mutt, but it works for me. I try to do what is best for everybody, but obviously I look out for my own interests. I've also learned that what may be good for somebody else, may affect me, and only benefit that one person out of their own greed. In cases like that, I have no problem looking out for myself.

I also view myself having egoist ethics still, because doing good things makes me feel good, and I like that feeling. So while my current ethical system is guided situation to situation, I feel that it works out and I am a better person for it.

My Ethics....

Media Ethics: Into the pot, already boiling...

Monday, January 30, 2006

Roots digging deeper...
I was raised in a religious setting. In my home my parents did not tolerate anything that was unkind or that "lacked character". The golden rule....You bet! I can't count how many times I heard, "How would you feel if the table was turned and you were on the receiving end of this injustice?" Kant's ideal of respecting others was prevalent in our home as well. I didn't have to agree with other's thoughts or ideas but I had to respect them simply because they were their own. On the other side of the coin, being the baby of eight children, I also adopted some egoistic attitudes. I looked out for number one and occasionally threw out Kant's idea to never use people. My brothers and sisters were instrumental (used) at times in my quest to appear the perfect little girl. Today my attitudes are more duty-based. When it comes to making decisions I feel that each situaton is unique. All aspects of that situation need consideration and exploration. I like the pluralistic theory of Willam David Ross and his ethical claims (duties). This theory lets these duties vie for priority when a good decision needs to be made. As Nancy pointed out in last week's lecture, some duties may conflict and to fulfill one obligation then you may have to break another. I like rules. I like absolute rules but I also like to contrast many different ideas in decision-making. Each situation is conditional and one "tried and true" rule isn't always applicable.

Monday, January 30, 2006

My Philosophy....

You could say that my parents took multiple approachs, or theories, to help us develop our reasoning and values. In my opinion the best advise my parents gave me was to have a mind of my own. All of my siblings have overcome different obstacles in life and therefore we have different views. Although our views vary, my parents rasied us with some of the same philosophy of life. First, I was taught to do unto others as I would want done to me. But I think that that philosophy is ingrained in us by school teachers. My parents used some utilitarianism, they told us that when it comes to decisions that involve others, we were raised to make our choice based on what will beneift the largest number. My mother tried to raise me duty-based, she always told me that I had a good heart and to make decisions based on how I felt. (I hate her for that, I have made too many wrong decisions based on my heart!) My dad is a big people person and tried to emphasize the idea that for me to be successful with people I needed to find a common ground, a middle path.

As I have gotten older I have changed my way of thinking slightly. I think that it is still very important to have a mind of my own, but I have found that as I have gotten older and sometimes struggle to find myself, my mind is sometimes influenced by others. I would like to say I am steering away from duty-based, but my heart tends to get the best of me! With my education and work, I still stay set on chosing what will benefit the largest number. And lately I have started to not care about the consequences and I believe that sometimes there is not a definite answer!

my philosophy...

I've always been taught the Golden Rule as we all know it: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And for me, this rule really has proven to be golden. It is when I do this that things seem to work out because I don't hurt other people when the rule is in action. I've definitely tried to carry this lesson with me although sometimes I block it from my mind and act in ways not worthy of the rule. Overall though, this philosophy has stayed with me no matter how much (or how little) I've matured in the past years.

If I was to apply a single philosophy to myself, however, I would definitely say I am duty-based. Sometimes I have to pick between two important values, and my priorities for each change in different circumstances. It's not too irregular to be stuck with the options of either hurting a friend's feelings or lying. Whichever option seems like it will do the most good at the time is what I usually go with, using feeling to make my decision. I definitely agree with Ross's duty-based philosophy as well with the idea that people are born with an innate sense of right and wrong. I believe this because people can usually always tell when they are being wronged, so they can tell when they are hurting another as well.

I believe that following both the Golden Rule and the duty-based philosophy should not lead to many problems deciding between the two. Making my best decision based on values usually leads to doing to another what I would want him or her to do to me.

My Ethical Philosophy

It is hard for me to pin down exactly what the basis for my ethical perspective is. I think in a way I demonstrate a little bit of each in my decision making. For the most part, I concern myself with doing what will be best for everyone, or at least as many people as possible. In that way, I am most Utilitarian: the greatest good for the greatest number of people. BUT that is not the case in every single situation I am in. Sometimes I do "look out for number one" and do things that will be best for me, that would be more egoistic. Sometimes I follow the rules or the law no matter what, which is more duty-based. I also show concern about my relationships with people, which is care-based. So my point is, I don't think it is possible to pin down just one type of ethical thinking...at least for me. I can't speak for everyone. I believe there is a dominant one--and I said before that for me I believe that is Utilitarian--but there isn't only one.

While growing up, I think that my ways of ethical thinking did change and develop as time went on. When I was very young, I had a very egoistic way of thinking, as many children do. All I cared about was getting what I wanted, and being taken care of myself. But the older I got, and the easier it was for me to understand things, it changed. I became more duty-based. I followed the rules no matter what (or at least tried, haha) because mom and dad say so, and there is no other way. Once again, the older I got and the more understanding I gained, the more I learned to be concerned about others, and learned that it isn't always black and white, right and wrong. And through that knowledge, I developed the kind of reasoning that I use now.

I also believe that part of why I use a little bit of every kind of reasoning is that because I used each kind at different times as I was growing up, some of it stayed with me even as my mindset was changing. And I think it is that way for a lot of people.

roots appear

When hearing things like "ethical philosophy" it makes me think of something important and serious. However when I view my personal values I don't always see them in a serious note. Since growing up with a very opinionated family I was allowed to think pretty freely. That is within the perameter of a Mormon girl in a religious family. Don't get me wrong, I was raised quite well. I however feel at odds within even my religion and gender.

I was the only girl with three little brothers and masculine father. I was taught to do unto others as you want done unto them. However as I grew out of my little kid sharing stage I developed a more moderation concept. That finding a middle like Aristotle has proved helpful. However I always had a struggle with the gender differences. Then when Nancy told us about Carol Gilligan I just wanted to leap for joy. This could be something I viewed with personal experiences affecting ethical choices as well as your gender. I now must look into her more and continue digging into myself as well.

The Lesser of Two Evils...

A puzzling dilemma, to be sure. Indeed, what are my ethical roots? Where are they based? What philosophies do they cling to? This is asked of the person who was brought up by wolves in the wild until she was 14. In that case, it seems that I would have to choose utilitarianism: the greatest good for the greatest number. We wolves must surivive, you know.

Alright, that's all a bit of silliness, really. In truth I had a very mainstream LDS upbringing. Let's see...let's see, let's see, let's see. As a child, well, a younger person, anyway, I'm still pretty childish, you know, anyway, as a child I would have called myself a follower of Epicurus. Yes, selfish little girl. But honestly, don't tell me that I'm the only one that kifed saltwater taffy from the supermarket barrels when you were so young? My sister used to lick the salt off the peanuts and then put them back. At least I'm not that bad. Anyway, at the age of, let's say, five, everything was about me. Lie if it'll get me out of trouble, cheat if it means I'll win, steal if it means I can get some candy. So on and so forth.

With my parents good influence this of course dissolved over the next few years and I created my own philosophies, called marxism. Just kidding. I would say once I matured up I became.................(Right now I'm choosing between Ross, Rauels, or Augustine)....................my heavens, this is difficult. I'd like to say that I lean towards Augustine, but I think that's something that will come later in life. I'm probably more like Rauels right now, you know, with his theory of justice. Rauels believed that we have a moral obligations to protect people. I agree. I think this will become stronger in my future, and will slowly push me towards Augustine's philosophies. But for now, I'm decidedly with Rauels.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Life reflections

While learning in class and reading I have seen chunks of my belief in a couple of the different ethics philosophies.

As a young person, I began to be aware of others around me and that they had beliefs and feeling as well as myself. I was taught by the example of my parents that my negative actions could cause distress to others and that was not a good thing. The golden rule is a good description of my beliefs, so I think that Kant's categorical imperative is where I have fit the most throughout my life.

As an example, at a family gathering I apparently made a joking comment about my brother that really bothered his wife. I do not even remember what I said, as I thought that it was inconsequential. My sister in law, on the other hand, was deeply offended. I apologized profusely (even though many other family members thought no apology was due) because the other person’s feelings were of most importance to me. This action may also fit with some of the other ethical philosophies (can't remember them all!).

Over the years, I have developed beliefs that align somewhat with some of the other philosophies. I can identify with Gilligan’s theories about men and women: men care about justice and women care about caring. For several years while my children were young, my wife was experiencing some health problems that kept her from some of the normal family interaction. As a result I took on the role of the nurturer and the mother was the enforcer - a role reversal according to Gilligans theory. Now the children are adults and have life challenges of their own. I am now all about justice, while their mother does the caring and nurturing. So as life changes, so does our beliefs.

On a larger scale than just myself, I believe that Mills utilitarianism has the most benefit to society.I made an interesting (but not an easy) read of Ann Raynd's Atlas Shrugged. I can't agree with the beliefs of egoism, of which Raynd's objectivism is a type of, but she presented it as capitalism in such a way that you could see much societal benefit.

Enough rambling for now...

Ethics & Roots

I didn't really grow up with religion playing any part in my life at all. My parents really only provided ethical guidance when it was obvious that I screwed up. Although I screwed up quite often, I didn't often get caught. :-)

Although my parents didn't often provide direct moral guidance, they did somehow sneak in some guilt trip into my personality. I'm still trying to figure out how they managed that one. For years it was the personality trait of the said guilt trip which would guide me. For the most part, I think it did a pretty decent job.

I graduated from high school in 2003, and promptly flew from Maine to Utah to begin college. When I entered college I also joined the Air Force ROTC here at USU.

The US Air Force has a set of three 'Core Values', "Integrity First, Service Before Self, & Excellence In All We Do". Two years of Air Force ROTC and a month of Field Training has engrained in me, above all else, "Integrity First". Due to circumstances mostly out of my control, I am no longer in ROTC. But the training instilled in me a sense of integrity.

Going back in time a little now, I began dating someone back in Maine. We moved to Utah together, and dated here for a while more. Overall, we for a few years. When we broke up, I didn't take it very well. I conducted myself in a very poor manner, and lost a lot of self-respect over how I behaved.

Between an obnoxious guilt trip personality, ROTC, a poor breakup, most of my actions revolve around whether I think something’s ethical and whether I be able to respect myself or not.

I think that my perception about whether an action is ethical or not tends to be very virtue-based (Kant), but occasionally utilitarianism. For example, I generally consider lies unethical, but there are always the bizarre exceptions to the rule.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

my ethics and where they came from

Media Ethics: Into the pot, already boiling...
looking back on my ethical upbringing I think it is like most christan house holds. I was pushed toward Kants "do unto others as you would have others do unto you" However, It wasn't total condemnation for any lie told.
my dad was a big supporter of helping the underdog. So I would also say that Ralls "speak for those that cant speak for themselves," was also a very true part of my upbringing and has stayed with me.
I still have those ethical beliefs today, but looking at the differences in men and women I also believe Gilligan that there is a very distinct separation between men and women in how they interpret ethics and justice.
I was brought up more duty based going along with Kant again with the strict duties, don't hurt anyone, and the meritorious duties such as develope talents, help others in need of aid etc. . .
One of the biggest reasons that I am duty based would have to do with the way I was brought up.

Friday, January 27, 2006

How far I've come....

I came from a simple family with simple values. My Mom and Dad were engaged only three days before they eloped after only knowing eachother for three weeks, they discussed in one night their values (i.e. kids, money, religion, careers, etc.) and then took off. They didn't raise me or my sister with a specific religion or belief in a higher being. The only thing that was stressed was, to be truthful, always do what you feel is right and work hard for everything.

It feels like I've made a complete loop around to test what I truly value. Not being raised with religion or belief in anything, I've had to discover on my own. I've been a regular member to a couple different religions and am now right back to where I started when I was being raised by my parents.

I still lean on those core values that my parents taught me and the one that has stuck with me the strongest has been to be truthful. I would say that I lean toward Kant slightly in that I can't tell a lie, I'm a horrible liar and have been taught that it is the worst thing to do. I would also consider myself duty-based because I don't have a rule book or set of guidelines to follow from any organized belief system, I rely on myself and my heart to tell me what is right.

Ethics, then and now

The roots of my ethics are based on the fact I was raised by hippies. My parents were very ‘hands-off’ about child rearing. I was never once asked what my grades were, if I was involved in drugs, alcohol, or really anything.

The philosophy was that we could do whatever we wanted as long as we were ‘grown up’ enough to accept the consequences. It was very much utilitarian. If we wanted to drop out of high school that was just dandy as long as we were willing to accept what came later in life because of it.

One of the only rules in the Miner home was that “you never screw anyone over to get yourself ahead.” This was more of Kant in my family’s ethical standpoint. We could do whatever we wanted as long as it didn’t keep anyone else from doing the same.

My ethics now are much what they were. One of the only additions is a sense of social criticism. Things can always change for the better and it is the responsibility of citizens to stand up and do something about it.

I am a big fan of the Social Responsibility Theory of the press. I love journalism because it has such a great ability to make change in society. It does a great job of that now but could always be used more in that capacity.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Sting Journalism

BBC Radio World Service carried a story this morning on a burgeoning niche in media called Sting Journalism, in which reporters go undercover to dig out and expose corruption in government. In some cases, amateur accomplices who are not professional journalists are recruited to aid in the process of discovering what the government is up to. The amateur accomplices occasionally employ their own brand of corrupt practices to get the story.

Here is a column by Vir Sanghvi on the ethics of sting journalism.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Living by the code

Here's the Society of Professional Journalists' Code of Ethics.

Journalism majors: Can you embrace this? Do you believe your chosen profession lives by it?

Non-journalists: What do you think? Do the mass media, in your experience, live by their own code?

My values...

Hi, I'm Ben.

My values are pretty standard, I suppose. Truth is an obvious one. I think it's a bit tainted though, I hate to say. I look at it more like a contextual truth. Flatout lies are a no-no, but what I tell them is different. Sometimes they don't need to know the full story, or not all of it is important to the message I am trying to get across. It may create a bias, but that is impossible to overcome no matter how a person is told. Kind of a social strategy or something like that.

I am sure that there is a word that describes my next value, but I suck with words and don't know what it is. I have general feeling or urge to help people. I see it as a value, but it can also be seen as a weakness, and I have been told so.

Trustworthiness...is that even a word?...one value that I strive to maintain. It has turned me into the person who gets told everything. People know that what I hear, I rarely repeat, so I get all the dirt. Which is cool, but I can't tell anybody what I am told, so it has it's drawbacks.

Critical thinking is another that I cherish. I think I am a little too liberal with it though, because in recent years I have become a conspiracy theorist. While thinking everything is a conspiracy is fun, it's like rocking in a rocking chair. A whole lot of fun, but you aren't accomplishing anything. I get a little too paranoid over some things, and while it has paid off, it has also gotten me in trouble.

Success. This isn't a value that I currently hold, but I do strive to be a successful person. I think it's one of the things that makes our country what it is. It provides motivation to get stuff accomplished, even if the motive can be seen as greedy.

I think the media has pretty positive values. Truth, integrity, knowledge, accuracy and information. But, of course, it gets lost in the process of coming out. It's like communism, a stellar theory, but is all sorts of jacked up when you throw people into the mix. The media has to move to different levels to get attention and keep itself alive; and because of that even the best intentions get lost.

My values have worked themselves in over the years. It's weird to think, but they started to develop after I stopped going to church. I think church is cool, it does good things for people, but not for me. I was a pretty lousy person because of religion, and I think it's because it was a crutch or loophole to do bad things. I knew that no matter what I did wrong I could repent and be forgiven, it's a get out of jail free card. Now I have to find other ways to justify doing bad things, and that's hard to do, so I am a more stand-up citzen.

My Values

My name is Kathryn Kemp. I am a junior at USU and a print journalism major. I don't have a minor declared yet, but it will probably be Sociology. My values may not be exactly what the media values, but I think there is a parallel... and if nothing else, a way to combine them together.
First and foremost I value people. This encompasses a lot of things...family, friends and even strangers. The people in my life are the most important thing to me, because that is what makes life worthwhile. I will do anything for someone I care about. Even if it means giving up something myself. Second, I value honesty and integrity. It is so important for me to be able to trust and rely on someone. It is one of my biggest pet peeves to know when someone isn't being completely honest with me or someone else. Lies can only get a person so far in life before it ends up bringing them down. Third, I value service or charity. I don't think the world could function without people taking care of each other. No one is perfect at it, but I think the effort to do good makes a difference. Fourth, I value knowledge. Sometimes school is stressful, but I always appreciate the knowledge that I gain from it. I love to learn, and I think one of the best things a person can do in this life is to get all the knowledge they can, and never stop looking for more. Finally, I value my religion. I am a very active member of the LDS church, and I value everything about my membership. The morals and values I am taught, the things I feel, the responsibilities I have, the people I know, the scriptures...the list goes on. My religion has helped make me who I am today, so it is very important to me.

These values are similar to the media in some ways, and different in others. As far as people goes, the media cares about people to a point, and their audience, but sometimes they have to hurt, pressure and push some people to get their stories, and that is a little harder for me to do. As far as honesty, it is extremely important for the media to be honest so, if for nothing else, they avoid libel suits. Service...the media is supposed to serve the community. Knowledge... they are supposed to inform the public. So although the media may value these things for different reasons than me, I think that in a way at least some of our values can be lined up. And in the places that they don't, maybe I can make a difference.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Here comes a lifeline...

If you're having trouble reading the assignment for tomorrow's class (the notes on philosophers) from the link on the syllabus, try this one instead:


a word about my values

My name is Amanda Cannon. I'm majoring in history and journalism with an emphasis in PR. This simply is an indication of the struggle I had deciding on a major. I've considered almost every field at some point.

I may change my mind frequently, but there are a few things that have always been important to me. First, I value respect. I tend to be even-tempered, and the only times in my life when I've really been angry with someone have been when they have been disrespectful to someone else. Second, I value family. I have seven brothers and sisters. They are my favorite people in the world. I have a habit of rambling on telling stories about them. They are my life, and I would do almost anything for any of them. Third, I value religion. I value my religion, and I value the beliefs of others. I also value happiness. Amid all of the miserable things that can happen in life, I believe it's important to search out good things and try to keep a positive outlook. Finally, I value rest. Without it, I would never make it through the day.

I realize that my values don't always match up with media values. Respect isn't their top priority, and the presses never rest. I figure that with each situation, I'll have to determine what is most important. I think those conflicting values will give me the opportunity to prove to myself that I really am the person I believe myself to be. I think a person really shows what they value through their decisions and actions.

Introduction/Top 5 Values

Hey everyone. My name is Carly Farr, and I'm from Ogden. I've attended the U of U, Weber State, the University of Alicante in Spain, and now Utah State, where I'm majoring in early childhood and elementary education. My top 5 values are, in no particular order: charity, gratitude, courage, honesty, and individuality. I think that the media values courage and gratitude;everyone does. However, I believe that although most media, in particular the news, likes to imagine that honesty is one of its highest values, in reality honesty is unappreciated, particularly when the truth is in conflict with the agenda of the media source. I think the media is completely unconcerned with charity. The true clash I see between my values and the media's is the emphasis I place on individuality and the individual himself. I think the media not only undervalues the idea of the individual, but is, quite frankly, at war with it. From the liberal news to the super produced "rockstars" on MTV, I think that in general (because of course there are exceptions), the media stifles creativity, individuality, and differing opinions. For me, in the extremity of my beliefs, I'm not sure the clash is resolvable. Which is why I'm not looking for a future in that profession.

Me vs. Media

The birthplace of my ethical reasoning started simply at home. I was raised in the kind of family that, for the most part, believed in the standard values LDS homes are noted for: honesty, integrity, dedication, and so on. But my main growth and development happened in my early teens when my family broke apart and my values started to conflict with my reality. I stilled believed in family values, but the definitions of them became skewed slightly from the traditional versions. My growth in ethical reasoning became even more askew when I became a journalist and was suddenly playing for a team that didn't seem to always follow my choice of values. Media have a tendency to sell sensationalism and worry first about the buck and last about the person. Although those tendencies trouble me, I have discovered that journalists have another unexplored side. Like Shakespeare wrote in Julius Caesar, "The evil men do lives after them, the good is often interred with their bones." It is easier to forget the value journalist have in a community when the bad stuff is so over powering. Journalists and media can be evil, but I am one who would prefer to accept that as truth yet focus on the good things media try to provide like objective, accurate, and fair information about the world around us. They are not going to get it right all the time, but as long as they are doing whatever they can to get it right the first time, I am willing to let a few things slide not only as a journalist myself, but as a media consumer.

Ethics, values and what not

I'm new to the blogger, as are all of us, and just wanted to say a bit about what I value, as it is a blog about media ethics (and as it is an assignment.) I would say the top five things that I value are: devotion to God, family, and friends; honesty; morality; kindness; and determination. I don't really believe that the media upholds many of these values in its pursuits, but rather values ratings, money, fame, and drama. The one thing that I will say for the media and its goals, is that it does value truth and letting the world know about what is really going on. I am happy that they do try, but believe that they are too concerned with ratings and sells to publish some of what they should. It isn't entirely there fault, as we as consumers determine what they print by what we buy. I won't say that excuses them, but it does explain their actions.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Moultonic Values

Since the Media Ethics class is doing an exercise sorting out declarations of personal values from perceptions of media values, I thought it might be fair to unveil any mystery about my values.

My values have changed a bit since I first did a Values Clarification Exercise a few decades ago. Back in the late 70's, when I was in mid-career, I listed my values as Creativity, Wisdom, Integrity, Achievement, and Freedom.

Today, I would list them as Insight, Innovation, Creativity, Functionality, and Peace.

I haven't thought too much about Media Values, but it occurs to me that Storycraft, Attention, Accuracy, Integrity, and Leadership are typical media values.

It occurs to me that one of the biggest challenges facing the media is the need to tell a coherent and compelling story without compromising the essential truth.

I imagine there must be times when a news-oriented journalist envies the gifted novelist. Fiction-writing is a great scam. A novelists gets to tell the truth while pretending to lie.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Me...My Values...and Media Values

My name is Tina Andrews. I have enjoyed living in Logan for many years. I grew up in Provo, UT and enrolled to attend BYU. At the last minute, Dixie College in St George, UT called and offered me a scholarship to attend their lovely (warm) school. After earning my Associates degree I transferred to Logan to attend the lovely (cold) USU. I fell in love with a "local" and got married and have spent the last decade raising a family. My education has been on hold for awhile. My major last century was "Organizational Communications"....I don't think it exsists anymore. I feel like Media Ethics is an ethics class as well as a computer class......In the good old days we used alot of paper, ink, and typewriters. Progress is good!

My five personal values are: Life itself
Freedom to live unoppressed
Family and relationships
Religious Beliefs
A Good and Honest Work Ethic

Media values that seem a priority are: Power
Provision of Information
Hype and Drama
Truth (sometimes)

My values are basic traditional values and they don't mesh so well with today's Media values. Well, maybe there is a little bit of overlap. For example, I enjoy living here in America where I enjoy many freedoms. The agency to think, feel, act and say whatever I choose is a freedom that many in our world do not have. The Media may argue that they reserve the same rights to act freely...write freely.....film freely....report freely. However, their truths can be distorted, their ethics and ideals compromised, and the people whom they serve can be hurt. I am not perfect as a human being. For I can also lie, distort, compromise and hurt....if I choose to. That is where my religious beliefs come into the picture. I choose to render overall goodness to the world. Can the Media say that? Is that even a possibility? If the Media rendered "goodness to the world", would it be fair, be truthful, be objective or for that matter, put food on the Media worker's tables? Probably not.
I will probably never have a career in the media. I don't know if I have what it takes. I look forward to learning about ethics. Choosing to act ethically can and will enrich all of our lives.

val ue\'valyu\n 1: fair return or equivalent for something exchanged..

2: how much something is worth 3: distinctive quality (as of a color or sound) 4: guiding principle or ideal-usu. pl. ~vb val ued; valuing 1: estimate the worth of 2: appreciate the importance of..

I value:
family-relationships-money-relaxing-having fun-time-transportation

Media values:
tragedy-natural disasters-celebrities-politics-opinions-mitakes-U.S. law-success-human interest

My name is Lydia Erickson, I am a senior majoring in Jounalism with an emphasis in Public Relations my minor is in Marketing. I was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. I have one sibling, an older sis.

I believe that although the things I value don't match what I think the media values exactly there is still overlap. The media tends to go through times of human interest (i.e. after hurricane katrina, the tsunami in asia), although not constantly, they go with the flow and the trends of the time. I will always value those around me and the relationships I have with others.

Larry & The World

Anchor Name larrysworld

In scrolling down, you will find two other posts about Brokeback Mountain and Larry H. Miller; Miller’s Goal & Larry H. miller pulled Brokeback.... I guess that I just didn’t realize the scale of this action, but apparently it’s gained worldwide attention. I thought that most of the buzz was just confined to Utah, but I’m assuming that when the Newsweek article says “Even in predominantly Mormon Utah, where one theater owner cancelled its scheduled showings” (4th paragraph down), it is referring to Larry H. Miller. According to the Salt Lake Metro, “Media outlets in China, the U.K. and Australia carried the story”.

Another headline from the slmetro.com said “Megaplex 17 Also Pulls Transamerica”, which is about a “a pre-operative male-to-female transsexual”. This is the first time I’ve even heard about this movie, so maybe I’m just out of the loop….again. I wonder if this will also cause a big stir in the blogosphere. Maybe we'll hear more about Larry Miller. Keep your eyes open!

Friday, January 20, 2006

a student's values are planted

To start off... My name is Angel Larsen. I am majoring in print journalism and am excited to be a senior. I live in Brigham City with my husband, two cats, one dog (hopefully two soon) and about 45 cows. Enough about that for now.

What I view as important (not in any order):
Financial security (especially as a farmer)
Willingness to admit mistakes

What I think the media values:
Money and profit
Fair or unbiased reporting

I think that my personal values have evolved through my experiences. Having moved a lot in my life I had to depend on family over friends. As an elementary student we moved sometimes twice a year. I learned to quickly appreciate my family and for them to be some of my closest and greatest friends. Also as a young child I learned to be honest and admit when you are wrong. I watched as my father quit a job because he was not willing to "fix" financial records for his company. This showed me that honesty was more important than a job. That a person can replace a job but not honesty. Marrying a farmer again exemplified the importance of honesty. With my husband's example he has shown that people respect an honest, poor person over a dishonest, rich person. With my marriage came the end of the financial security I knew growing up. Now trying to prepare for the future is risky because we don't know if milk will stay or drop in price. With my belief that honest people succeed falls in religion. Throughout my life it has helped me make it through all the moves and problems. Enough blabber...onto the media.

I think that what the media values and does are not always the same things. When it comes to people, only the famous or unique or law-breaking people seem to make the news. Everyday citizens are often ignored. I don't think by mistake but because it is hard to sell stories without important people or events happening. However, if a reporter looks hard enough, everyone has a unique story to tell. Sadly, a concern with money has overrun the reporting in some media publications. Selling that five more subscriptions becomes more important than getting that source that truly has a story. With the money problem has also evolved an award obsession. Who got that? Or who received such and such is more important than reporting now days. However, sometimes the problems with the media overshadow the positive aspects. Most newspapers or broadcast stations still try to find the facts and truth and report unbiased stories. It just seems that the negative hides the positives.

Ethical issues

So I am writing my very first ethical post while I am at work - on the clock mind you. Is that ethical? Probably not, but it sure feels good being paid to do homework. Moving on.

My name is Jeremiah but everyone who's anyone calls me Bitty. Jeremiah is so outdated. Why didn't my parents just call me Jebidiah and get it over with. I grew up in Cedar City, Utah with my seven sisters. Yes, it was awful just in case you were thinking that.

My top 5 values were:
1. Family
2. God
3. Open-mindedness
4. Humor
5. Innocence

What I thought the media's were:
1. Profit
2. Objectivity
3. Diversity
4. Politics
5. Looks

I thought we were similar in the fact that I value open-mindedness and they value diversity. We were different in the fact that they value politics and I absolutely loathe them. I think their primary objectives are the "here and now" with money and mine are more spiritual and eternally based.

I am a broadcast/print journalism major. I attended SUU and BYU before coming here. I'm actually doing an internship in Berlin next semester! I expect everyone to be as excited as I am.

I know that media's values and my own will conflict but in conflict sometimes our values become stronger. That's what I'm hoping for.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Rex Bodrero is my name. I am a life-long resident of Cache Valley. I returned to USU three semesters ago to finish the engineering degree that I started somewhere over 30 years ago. I wonder if I will find my ethical values to be very different from the majority of younger students.

Among the things I value most are:
Respect for others

Some of the things that I believe the media values are:
Objectivity (but not always)
Promoting the degradation of moral values

Boy, what a mixture of media values. I think that some media is truthful and objective, but that others are only about making money with no respect for tradional values (obviously I'm all for tradional values).

I won't have a career in journalism, but I hope to learn objectivity and understanding of the media. The case study of this weeks class pointed out that we are constantly faced with ethics decisions.

Well, well, well...

My name is Jennifer Lyn.
And that's where I will begin.
I am from Lehi.What school? Lehi High.
And that is where I will end.


No, just kidding. Yes, my name is Jennifer Lyn Pulham, but I'd much prefer it if you'd all just call me Jen. Jennifer is such a formal name. Like Walter or Theodore. Are there any Walters or Theodores in the class? Not likely. Anyway, I am from Lehi, as the haiku indicates, and my high school was called Lehi High (say it out loud to find the irony). I'm now a senior...yes...I've made it this far, and I'm majoring in journalism with an emphasis in print.

My top five values are:
1. Family
2. My best friend
3. My bed (can't go wrong there)
4. My religion, faith, and beliefs
5. My health

The top five I gave the media (and this is what they value to write about) are:
1. Politics
2. Murder
3. Religious strife and such
4. Catastrophe
5. Odd news

Obviously they don't really match up with mine. I actually have little interest in politics. I do enjoy a good murder mystery, though. I guess we share the religion thing, except I don't necessarily need the strife to be satisfied. Catastrophes are very interesting to read about, but I'd hate to be in one, unless I new I could help in some way or survive. Probably our strongest common value is "odd news." Who doesn't enjoy skimming through "Weekly World News" to see what's new with Batboy? Oh, man, I love that.

I suppose if I'm to become a journalist, I'll have to become desensitized to a lot of these things. It will be a sad day when a murder doesn't phase me, but that will probably come, in some small degree, at least. I personally hope to write the "odd news". No, I don't want to write for Weekly World. I just want to do the feature stories. You know, about the guy that lives across the street who never comes out of his house but randomly leaves little gifts in the tree for neighborhood children. Wait a minute...that sounds vaguely familiar...

my values meshing with the media's

Hey there everyone! I'm Rebekah Bradway, a sophomore majoring in journalism, specifically print. I'm from the great city of Salt Lake, and I love it there. I just returned this semester from an exchange at the University of Massachusetts though, so I do have a little experience in living outside of Utah.
Regarding my personal values, some of them include life, education, honesty, relationships, and happiness.
One of these values is also highly important in the media- education. Education is one word that sums up the media. Whether the media's information is true or not, it's still educating an audience. Truthfulness depends on the type of media and those getting their news from it. In valuing honesty, I need to be active in looking for specific mediums that I believe to be true. When I read ads or stories from the tabloids, I can just keep in mind that some of the information might not be true.
Life, relationships, and happiness all affect the media as well. These are highly valued for people other than myself, therefore making them good topics to cover. Life is, in a sense, the only topic covered at all.
Because I am looking for a profession in the media for my future, I know situations will arise that will question my values. Honesty is seen to be a huge problem in many media outlets. However, I think that in reporting for newspapers and eventually editing them, the careers I want to have, I will be able to stay truthful.
Most of my values, I think, will actually be amplified in working for the media. I know I will be much more educated with current news as well as historical events. I will have opportunities to develop new relationships and strengthen them. I believe that my life and my happiness will greatly flourish because in working as a journalist, I will be doing what I love.

Values & Such

Anchor name Values

I'm David Kennedy. I grew up along the northern coast of Maine. I'm a junior, majoring in computer science. My Blog is http://apt13times.blogspot.com Some of my top values are integrity, knowledge, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Okay, the last three sound like I just copied them, but seriously....I think they're good ones. I feel that the media values a good story, ratings, disaster, knowledge, and freedom.

At one point in our history, the media would try to ‘protect’ people like the president. For example, people’s views of Franklin Roosevelt (not Teddy Roosevelt) didn’t need to be tainted by the images of his physical handicap, so they were rarely shown. However, in modern times, it seems as if the media views themselves as the guard against ‘Big Brother’. That is, it is their responsibility to bring to light the scandals, cover-ups, and secrets. The word The History Channel uses is 'WatchDog'. As obnoxious as this can be at times, I think that these tendencies stem from the respectable values of knowledge and freedom.

Although I'm not going into the media, I figure that learning a few more ethics could be good for anyone.

Speaking of the Media's ethics, there's a cartoon portraying the Media As A 'Double Edged Sword'.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

values blog

My name is Melissa Bruinsholz (don't worry about the last name) everyone calls me Missy. I just transfered here this semester from BYUI and I am going into P.R.
My top five personal values are family, religion, life, education, and money. I believe that I have some similarities with the media's values. I think the media values drama and scandal, money, sex, politics, tradgedy/death/blood, and although I don't think they always do it, truth.
Looking at the values that I have come up with for myself and the media I know that I fit in well enough with education and money. However, I think there are some conflicts when it comes down to my value of family, religion, and life.
I don't predict these to be gigantic problems but I would be a fool if I said they wouldn't cause any problem at all. I hope that in the work force I'm not asked to do somthing I view as unethical or against my moral code, but I doubt that will happen. I guess that is what this class is all about, to push our values and see what we'll do. I know that I will have to make some judgement calls in my job, more than most people will because of the field I am going into, but I am excited to dig in and look at what we come out with.
posted by missy @ 7:14 PM 0 comments

Miller's goal

If Larry H Miller didn't want the movie watched or shown he has done a lousy job of down playing the movie. Whether Miller took it off for homaphobic reasons or not it dosn't really matter now because everyone is going to go and watch the film to see what the big tado is about. I think it was the best publicity that could have happened for the movie.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Memoirs: Fact, Fiction or Storytelling License?

The Poynter Institute, the New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, Newsweek, Time Magazine, and the Christian Science Monitor (among many others) are all carrying stories this week, in the wake of recent disclosures that a best-selling memoir endorsed by Oprah Winfrey's book club blurs fact and fiction in the interest of good storytelling.

A slavish attention to factual detail can make a story impenetrably dense. A little hyberbole can spice up a tale, by bringing out the inherent drama. It's a fine line between sticking to the facts and weaving a coherent story that holds the reader's attention.

Death & Politics

Supreme Court upholds Oregon assisted-Suicide Law. (MSNBC)
At first glance, it seems that the only interest here is the right to suicide for the terminally ill. But upon closer inspection, I found there to be some political points of interest.

The Supreme Court upheld the law 6-3, with Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Thomas and Scalia, voting against. This must imply, by the process of elimination, that the other Justices (Stevens, O'Connor, Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg, & Breyer) must have voted for. See A Listing Of Justices.

Those Justices considered conservative voted against, while those considered moderate and liberal voted for. O'Connor, well known for being a 'Swing' voter, has announced her plan to retire. To replace her, President Bush has nominated Samuel Alito. Conservatives hope that Alito will be able to swing the Supreme court to the right, and Justice Kennedy is expected to become a more influential swing voter with O'Connor's retirement. Kennedy is a conservative who sometimes swings towards the liberal side in cases involving topics like gay rights and capitol punishment.
See More Cases Currently In The Supreme Court

Monday, January 16, 2006

Larry H. Miller pulled Brokeback Mountain from his Theater

Did Larry H. Miller make this decision only because the movie deals with homosexuals? Why would Miller pull a movie about homosexuals and not a movie about murder (i.e. Hostel). Here are the shows now playing in the same theater that Brokeback Mountain was pulled: www.megaplextheatres.com

Bok's first step in her model to ethical decision making in Chapter 1 of Ethical Decision Making is:

Consult your own conscience about the "rightness" of an action. How do you feel about the action?

Just something to think about....

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Into the pot, already boiling...

Hello, out there!

Welcome to the grand adventure -- Utah State University students in JCOM 4010, Mass Media Ethics, will push far beyond boring research papers this semester and blog our explorations here.

Our goals?

-- Banish the darkness by shedding light on the subject so it becomes more than a tired old joke ("Media ethics? Isn't that an oxymoron?").

-- Discover models and tools that make ethical decisions clearer, and read a few philosophers (Aristotle, Mill, Kant, Rawls and others) who thought well and deeply about ethics.

-- Practice thinking our way to clarity by writing. It's really true: we often don't know what we think about an event or case until we try to write it clearly.

There's more, but that's enough to let you know what you're into here. Join us, please!