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Passions in Poetry

journalistic duty

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Huan Yi
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since 10-12-2004
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Waukegan


0 posted 11-19-2004 02:46 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

“Ogletree asked the panel to imagine a war between the hypothetical countries of North and South Kosan. The United States was backing South Kosan, and indeed American troops were deployed in the field alongside South Kosanese forces. The North Kosanese offered to allow Jennings and a crew to film them behind their lines. Would Jennings go? Of course, he answered.

Then Ogletree introduced the ethical dilemma: While filming the North Kosanese, you see they are setting up an ambush for an approaching column of American and South Kosanese soldiers. What do you do? Would you stand by and film as the North Kosanese opened fire on the Americans?

Jennings pondered the question. "Well, I guess I wouldn't," he said finally. "I am going to tell you now what I am feeling, rather than the hypothesis I drew for myself. If I were with a North Kosanese unit that came upon Americans, I think that I personally would do what I could to warn the Americans." He went on to say he would warn the Americans even if it meant losing the story, even if it meant losing his life.

But this admirable display of patriotic duty was short-lived, for he was then upbraided by Mike Wallace.

"I think some other reporters would have a different reaction," Wallace said. "They would regard it simply as a story they were there to cover." Wallace was "astonished" at Jennings's answer, and he began to lecture him as he would an errant schoolchild.

"You're a reporter," Wallace scolded. "I'm a little bit at a loss to understand why, because you're an American, you would not have covered that story."

Didn't Jennings have a higher duty, Ogletree asked Wallace, than to roll film as American soldiers were being shot? "No," Wallace said. "You don't have a higher duty. No. No. You're a reporter!"

Properly chastened, Jennings backed down. "I chickened out," he said. He had lost sight of his journalistic duty to remain detached from the story.”

http://www.nationalreview.com/dunphy/dunphy200411190828.asp

I actually saw the above episode.

If in exchange and by virtue of  granted access, an American reporter was made privy
to an imminent planned terrorist attack on Americans, would/should  his duty as a reporter obligate his silence at least until after that attack, (I seem to remember an old movie that had a very similar situation about the bombing of a night club)?
Brad
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since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


1 posted 11-20-2004 01:42 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Why in the world would N. Kosan privilege a Western reporter with such information?

At any rate, journalism is considered a profession:

Should a doctor not treat the enemy?

Should a lawyer not defend the enemy to the best of his ability?

Should a teacher poorly teach the children of the enemy?

Huan Yi
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since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


2 posted 11-20-2004 01:49 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Brad,

“At any rate, journalism is considered a profession:

Should a doctor not treat the enemy?

Should a lawyer not defend the enemy to the best of his ability?

Should a teacher poorly teach the children of the enemy?”

Should an American reporter abet an enemy,
(by his silence before an attack), in killing Americans?

John

Brad
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since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


3 posted 11-20-2004 02:25 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I've already answered the question.

A journalist, insofar as they are a journalist, should report the news, not make it.

If we wish to eschew journalistic ethics, you can still make an argument for the same scenario. N. Kosanian trust may be more important in the long run.

Of course, they are also human and will decide what to do at that time.

Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


4 posted 11-20-2004 02:27 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Of course, this is still tecnically a null argument. A journalist, insofar as they are a journalist and is capable of doing so, should report the plan of the surprise attack, should they not?

[This message has been edited by Brad (11-20-2004 08:51 AM).]

Huan Yi
Member Ascendant
since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


5 posted 11-20-2004 08:44 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Brad,

“Of course, this is still tecnically a null argument. A journalist, insofar as they are a journalist and is capable of doing so, should report the plan of the surprize attack, should they not?”

No, he gains access in exchange for his
silence until his hosts deem appropriate;
same as reporters on our side are forbidden to disclose
operational plans before they are put into effect,
(imagine if having found out before Midway, the Tribune
had a headline:  “U.S. Intelligence Breaks Japanese Code!”).

“Why in the world would N. Kosan privilege a Western reporter with such information?”

Oh, for a number of self-serving reasons, and I can imagine a reporter,
a Frenchman for example, jumping at the opportunity,
(in the movie I remember, the journalist agrees to silence in exchange
to be at the right place at the right time to capture movie images in
the immediate aftermath of a terrorist bombing of a nightclub).


“A journalist, insofar as they are a journalist, should report the news, not make it.”

So we know where you stand.

Let’s ask this though: is not the reporter’s silence an ingredient abetting
the event to then be reported on; that the event may be in some part
for his view and through him his audience and so his participation
and silence encourage the event?


John


Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


6 posted 11-20-2004 09:01 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

But so is a doctor, a lawyer, and a teacher.

If a doctor saves the enemy's life, he can kill again.

If a lawyer sets the man free, he can kill again.

If a teacher teaches, say, engineering well, the enemy knows how to build better weapons.

But, I agree, though not perhaps in the way you intended, this whole embedded thing does not embody a journalistic ideal -- independence. Again, sometimes you have to make sacrifices in either direction.

Nobody said ethical decisions were easy. They just aren't paradoxical.

Huan Yi
Member Ascendant
since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


7 posted 11-25-2004 11:05 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4040815.stm

Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


8 posted 11-25-2004 07:37 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

So you think we should be like them.

Now I understand.

 
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