In all professions and trades there is a gap betweenarticulated ideals and practice. This dissertation hasrelevance for working life in general due to the growinginterest in questions regarding ethics. The case study dealswith the realities of everyday work, more exactly journalisticpractice and preciselyreportership. Reporters are not often heard in thepublic debate about massmedia, despite the fact that itconcerns their profession to the highest degree. Reporters movearound the public sphere as agents of the massmedia, but theirown working conditions are rarely the focus of mediaattention.
This is the first Swedish research project focusing on thereporter as an individual. The study deals with the followingquestions: What challenges and dilemmas do reporters meet intheir work? How do they handle these challenges and dilemmas?What influence and what responsibility does the individualreporter exercise in her/his profession?
The theoretical basis for this study is above all theAristotelian ethics as it is developed by the Americanphilosopher Martha Nussbaum. Empiricly the dissertationconcentrates on tangible examples drawing on thepractical-philosophic oriented research on professionalknowledge. It is an explorative study focused on individualexperiences as a basis for reflection, The dissertation dealswith reportership in six connections: fellowworkers/collective, supervisors/organization,sources/collection, public/presentation, relatives/private lifeand professional/human being. The investigation is carried outtogether with skilled practitioners who at meetings during along period of time have pondered over their own and eachothers experiences. In total the field study has stretched overnearly three years.
The study shows that reportership has room for a stronginterest in moral and ethics but also for dilemmas andconflicts which are difficult for the individual to solve. Deepconflicts occur when personal moral clashes with ethics of dutyand professional norms. The dissertation calls in question theoften stereotype descriptions of reporters expressed by thedominating media- and communication research. This contributesto limit rather than develop and deepen the understanding ofjournalistic practice. The dissertation contributes to agreater clarity concerning Swedish media ethics by putting itin a moral-philosophical and language-philosophical context.The study gives opportunities to reflect on practicalresponsibility, especially questions of professional ethics. Itends with several concrete suggestions for further research andalso development of reportership and journalistic practise ingeneral:
* Use practical philosophy, litterature and other forms ofart in journalistic education. * Develop further education forskilled reporters on the basis of reflected practice. * Developethical codes rooted in the practical work rather than inbusiness ethics. * Allow the individual reporter more influenceand responsibility in her/his work.
Keywords:Aristotle, Moral, Professional ethics,Practical responsibility, Reportership, Journalism,Massmedia
Stockholm: Industriell ekonomi och organisation , 2001. , 378 p.
Aristotle - Moral - Professional ethics - Practical responsibility - Reportership - Journalism - Massmedia