Loath to Admit: Pressures on the Ethical Disclosure of News Release Sources by Journalists

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Abstract

Non-disclosure of news release sources deceives the public and is ethically objectionable. The S.967 Pre-packaged News Bill in the US endorsed the principle of self-regulation by journalists when disclosing the source of government video news releases. Senate committee hearings for the Bill raised generic ethical issues relating to the use of news releases as a vehicle for information exchange. Professional bodies for public relations and journalism advocate disclosure of source to the public, but their members perceive advantages in non-disclosure. Public relations values the credibility of implied news organization endorsement, and journalists resist being seen to be using public relations as a source for their news. If self-regulation of disclosure is to work in the public’s interest, professions and news organizations have to commit seriously to ethical practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-40
Number of pages10
JournalEthical Space: the international journal of communication ethics
Volume4
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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