Books -- Campaigns and Conscience: The Ethics of Political Journalism by Philip Seib

By Denham, Bryan | The Journalism Educator, Autumn 1994 | Go to article overview

Books -- Campaigns and Conscience: The Ethics of Political Journalism by Philip Seib


Denham, Bryan, The Journalism Educator


*Seib, Philip (1994). Campaigns and Conscience: The Ethics of Political Journalism. Westport, Conn.: Praeger. 160 pp. Paperback, $16.95. Hardback, $49.95.

In Campaigns and Conscience Philip Seib, an associate professor of journalism at Southern Methodist University and a columnist for the Dallas Morning News, discusses the ethical dilemmas that sometimes confront political journalists.

Seib begins this eight-chapter text by discussing the symbiotic relationship that exists between political candidates, voters, and reporters. Under the tenets of Democracy theory, the reporter is charged with ensuring robust debate over matters of legitimate public concern during election campaigns. And while the author finds ample room for improvement, he also believes that certain media companies deserve recognition for their reporting during the 1992 election year. The Charlotte Observer, for example, committed itself to informing its readers about important issues in '92 and made every effort to discount the political horserace that contemporary journalists find so hard to resist. Seib follows this example with thoughts on how other media companies might also improve their campaign coverage.

The book's real strength lies in the voice of its author, who uses historical examples to support many of his major points. He discusses, for instance, the ethical boundary that Horace Greeley and William Randolph Hearst crossed when they used their newspapers to foster their personal and political agendas. Contemporary journalists, Seib charges, must be wiser.

"Being competent isn't just a good idea; it's an ethical responsibility," he writes. "To put it another way, a journalist has an ethical responsibility not to be an idiot." This colorful introduction of new topics before moving into more substantive discussion makes the book both enjoyable and enlightening. Seib doesn't lose himself in esoteric thought, which means upper-division undergraduates and professional-track master's students will appreciate this text.

The above quotation from Seib begins his chapter on journalists' competence, a section in which he describes the passive reporting common to the savings and loan scandals and the "end-run" tactics of 1992 presidential candidate Ross Perot.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Books -- Campaigns and Conscience: The Ethics of Political Journalism by Philip Seib
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.