Universitatea „Lucian Blaga“ din Sibiu, Facultatea de Ştiinţe Socio-Umane
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5 / 2015
Ethics of investigative journalism
The purpose of investigative journalism is to make truthful and valid information readily available to the public, to expose acts of corruption or illegal conditions that are otherwise impossible to learn and disclose. Principal ethical problems surrounding investigative journalism relate to the tactics employed by journalists while collecting information – hidden cameras, deceit, misrepresentation, hidden identities, invasion of privacy etc. These questionable methods of gathering information are difficult to defend from en ethical perspective, because the end does not justify the means. Another question to be considered concerns the relationship between journalists and their sources. Once a confidentiality promise has been given to a source, it should not be breached. Therefore, such a promise should not be given lightly.
Keywords: ethics, investigative journalism, professional standards, privacy, sources of information, secret sources, truth-telling.
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