Applying Ethical Principles in the Photojournalism Classroom: A Case Study in Values-Based Education in a Student Media Environment

By Bradley Wilson.

Published by The International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: July 27, 2015 $US5.00

Teaching ethical principles in a scholastic media classroom poses a challenge for the educator and for the student. There are few right answers and students are often learning a new way to learn, applying values learned at home, through outside-of-school experiences and in other classes rather than from a textbook. This case study, using graphic, spot news images from the Boston Marathon bombing, examined whether students agreed with professional photojournalists or their instructors regarding whether images should be published. Using the Boston Marathon images in a case-study simulation with students role-playing the photojournalists provided instructors with an opportunity to explore concepts of timely publication (being first vs. being accurate) to digital manipulation to privacy. In one case, students agreed significantly with professionals and with advisers in another, providing room for more examination into where students obtain knowledge about their values and beliefs about what can or should be published in a spot news situation.

Keywords: Pedagogy, Methodology, Ethics, Media

The International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp.95-104. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: July 27, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 412.084KB)).

Dr. Bradley Wilson

Assistant Professor, Department of Mass Communication, Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, TX, USA