The Journalist and the Murderer Themes

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Ethics

Malcolm’s book is an attempt to create some definition of journalistic ethics in a world of ambiguous facts and subjective assertions. McGinniss violated journalistic ethics by taking license with his depiction of MacDonald’s character and creating a statically evil character that would sell books. Elliot speaks for Malcolm and all ethical journalists when he says “situational ethics” are unacceptable. The world of journalism requires a certain amount of gray area around the concept of ethics. Journalists generally have to attempt to conceal their true opinions and feelings in order to get an interview and write a story. However, McGinniss took this concept much further by actually lying to his subject and presenting false emotions and beliefs. For Elliot, Malcolm, and many others, this is totally unprofessional, unacceptable, and unnecessary. While the book never develops a clear definition of journalistic ethics, the conclusion of Malcolm’s research...

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This section contains 574 words
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Buy The Journalist and the Murderer Study Guide
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