WMU News

Media ethics scholar to discuss advocacy journalism

Sept. 16, 1997

KALAMAZOO -- An expert on media ethics will make a case for advocacy journalism in a lecture Thursday, Oct. 2, at Western Michigan University.

Dr. David E. Boeyink, associate professor in the School of Journalism and director of media studies in the Poynter Center for the Study of Ethics and American Institutions at Indiana University, will speak at 7:30 p.m. in Room 204 of the Bernhard Center.

The title of his lecture is "A Defense of Advocacy in the Media or Why Newspapers Should Not (Always) Be Neutral Observers." Boeyink is expected to discuss his views on how objectivity in reporting, as a kind of ethical neutrality, is not only impossible but perhaps crippling in dealing with community problems. He will address the issue of when an advocacy press -- newspapers using the news to pursue a cause -- may be appropriate.

Boeyink is the author of a number of articles for journals on the topic of ethics and the media. Their titles include "How Effective Are Codes of Ethics? A Look at Three Newsrooms" for Journalism Quarterly and "Anonymous Sources in News Stories: Justifying Exceptions and Limiting Abuses" for the Journal of Mass Media Ethics. He currently is researching the role of religious values in the creation of news.

The free talk is being sponsored by WMU's Center for the Study of Ethics in Society.

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