Community mediation in defining the ethical: the power of the reader in transforming early career journalists' understanding of ethics

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


Early career journalists learn their understandings of journalism ethics in the workplace through their interactions with their community of practice, in alignment with learning structures identified by Lave and Wenger. Normative understandings of this learning process is that their key influencers within this community are those they work with, their news editors and peers. However, qualitative semi-structured interviews with early career journalists indicate that the community of practice within which they operate extends beyond the boundaries of a news room and their readers and the geographic community in which they are located are powerful influencers in their understanding what is ethical and morally right to report. This work draws on interviews with early career journalists in local and regional newspapers in England, and points to an environment where sensitivity to what their geographic community think about their approach to news is highly influential on their understanding of journalistic moral boundaries, to the extent that early career journalists bring this understanding back into the news room through debate and discussion, developing a wider ecological appreciation of what a local community is prepared to tolerate as ethical journalism.
Period9 Jan 2020
Event titleMedia, Communication and Cultural Studies Association Conference, 2020: Media Interactions and Environments
Event typeConference
LocationBrighton, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational