Technological innovation and conglomeration in communication industries has been accelerating the commodification of the news into just another product. The emphasis on the bottom line has resulted in newsroom budget cuts and other business strategies that seriously endanger good journalism. Meanwhile, the growing influence of the Internet and partisan commentary has led even journalists themselves to question their role. In Journalism as Practice, Sandra L. Borden shows that applying philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre's ideas of a 'practice' to journalism can help us to understand what is at stake for society and for those in the newsrooms who have made journalism their vocation. She argues that developing and promoting the kind of robust group identity implied by the idea of a practice can help journalism better withstand the moral challenges posed by commodification. Throughout, the book examines key U.S. journalism ethics cases since 2000. Some of these cases, such as Dan Rather's "Memogate" scandal, are explored in detail in Practically Speaking sections that discuss relevant cases at length.
This book is essential reading for students and practicing journalists interested in preserving the ethical role of journalism in promoting the public good.
Sandra L. Borden is Associate Professor of Communication and Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Ethics in Society at Western Michigan University.