Date of Award

Fall 2006

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Slattery, Karen

Second Advisor

Garner, Ana

Third Advisor

Seib, Philip

Abstract

As a former professional television journalist, I was often uncomfortable with interviewing or capturing images of people showing grief and sadness. On the one hand I knew the public had a right to see those images, however on the other hand I also knew that taking those images could cause even further harm to the individuals involved by getting too close and invading an individual's privacy. After I gathered my interviews and images, I would leave the scene of a tragedy convincing myself! was just doing my job. When I left journalism to raise a family, I entered the master's degree program at Marquette University and began to think about that conflict that I had felt as a journalist. I wondered how a professional news photojournalist might handle these morally sticky situations, especially given the market-driven journalism environment of today. Moreover, I wondered about the perspective of the National Press Photographers Association and what the award-winning instructors taught new and aspiring news photojournalists to do in those situations. This study demonstrated that the ethic of care is clearly a moral underpinning that helps to guide the professional television news photojournalist in his or her work. This relational ethic rearranges ethical priorities and provides different ways for a news photojournalist to solve morally difficult situations beyond codes of ethics because it allows the news photojournalist to take into account the context of the event and empathize with those in the image.

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