I will expect you to think critically about First Amendment rights as you develop these essays. Three cases will be presented after these instructions. You are to write your essay on only one of the cases for Essay 1. In the first paragraph, describe the dilemma you have, the situation you are in. In your essays, address the questions posed following the scenario, but make it all flow as though those questions are thoughts you have and know that they must be considered in arriving at a solution to your journalistic dilemma. Do not list the questions within your essay and then answer them individually. You must fully justify the path you choose. In other words, whether you choose a solution that is provided to you within the case scenario or another one you have come up with on your own, you must explain completely why you have made this choice. Refer to at least two previously decided cases (precedents) as partial support for your decision. Remember: The First Amendment is NOT a precedent. Do not start off writing the scenario as it appears in this assignment simply to add words to your essay. You must begin by briefly explaining the dilemma you are facing. Remember: The reader of your paper doesnâ€™t know what the assignment is. Your paper must be submitted through Canvas by the deadline above to receive full credit. Do your own work. I have caught many students plagiarizing the work of previous students, and it did not end well. Canvas has all papers submitted for this assignment for the past six years in its repository, and I have them, also.
Specifications: Use this list as your checklist before you submit your paper! Points will be taken off if you do not follow this checklist! You must write this on your own. This is NOT a group project!
NO PLAGIARISM!! You could fail this assignment if you copy anything from anywhere.
____650â€“900 words (This is a firm minimum and maximum number of wordsâ€”not one word fewer nor one word more.)
____12-pt. Times New Roman, double spaced
____1-inch margins on all four sides of page
____Contact info and name in header on every page; you MUST include your email address!!
____Indent paragraphs Â½ inch with NO extra spacing between paragraphs
____Include page numbers
____Do not submit PDFs. I cannot correct them.
_____ Include a reference/bibliography section.
_____ DO NOT use justified type alignment. Use left alignment.
_____ First Amendment should be capitalized.
_____ Include at least 2 precedents.
_____ The name of your file MUST be:
Last name_First initial_JRN4425_Essay(insert here either 1 or 2)_RAW
The cases follow:
How much information should you report?
You are a reporter for a local newspaper. You come back to the office one day to find several staff members discussing this story:
Two teenagers have been killed in an automobile accident. The driver, who survived, had been drinking prior to the accident. The two girls in the back seat, both of whom were killed, were nude at the time of the accident.
Your colleague, another reporter, is pushing for all the known facts to be reported. But the editor argues that the fact of the girlsâ€™ nudity should not be revealed; he claims that such information will just be an additional insult to their parents, who already are suffering from the girlsâ€™ deaths.
Ask: Do you have a right to publish:
The fact that the driver was drinking?
The fact that the girls were nude at the time of the accident?
Would it be responsible to publish these facts in reporting the accident?
Brainstorm ALONE about things to consider in deciding whether to report this information:
Do we have all the facts? Has anyone interviewed the survivor?
Does the newspaper have a policy on printing names of sexual-assault victims?
Will publishing the information help anyone else?
To what lengths should you go to get a story?
You are a correspondent for a major television network. Your producers have done a great deal of research about a national grocery chain; they allege that some of its grocery stores are asking employees to participate in unsanitary food-handling practices.
This is an important story. Consumers may get sick if they eat tainted food, you argue, and they have a right to know that a food store is not handling its food in a safe manner. You want to make sure this story airs on national television. You believe that to get good footage you have to go into the store with cameras and film the storeâ€™s workers actually engaging in unsafe practices. You need proof.
As the television correspondent, how will you get your story?
- Call the store manager and request an on-site interview, with cameras. Explain that you have some information that consumers will want to know about and give the store a chance to show its side of the story.
- Just appear at the store one day, without advance notice to the manager. That way you wonâ€™t tip off the staff that youâ€™re onto a story.
- Pretend to be looking for a job in the store; complete an employment application and actually get hired. Then, while youâ€™re at work, use hidden cameras to document the unsafe practices you see.
- Your own solution to the dilemma. Be specific.
Will a negative story be allowed to run in a high school newspaper?
As a high school journalist, you have developed several sources of information about the football camp held each year at your school. You hear that brutal hazing is part of athletesâ€™ initiation to the team. Investigating further, you learn that new players are subject to various humiliations and assaults, sometimes with broomsticks, electrical cords and socks stuffed with tennis balls.
This is a big, important story. Kids are being hurt. You work hard to get your facts right and spend a great deal of effort checking and double-checking your sources. Your newspaperâ€™s adviser supports you and your work. But when you are ready to publish the story in the school newspaper, the principal says you canâ€™t run it unless you make substantial changes. You must eliminate a playerâ€™s comments and add a prepared statement from the football coach. The coach also says this is â€œnegative journalismâ€ and wants you to hold the story until after the playoffs.
What do you do?
- Drop the story. You know youâ€™ve done a good job, but if the principal wonâ€™t let you run the story as you have prepared it, you wonâ€™t run it at all.
- Wait until after the playoffs, as the coach requests, and then print the story according to the principalâ€™s requirements: Drop the playerâ€™s comments and run the football coachâ€™s statement. At least some of the information you have uncovered will come out.
- Print the story as your principal demands, by dropping the playerâ€™s comments and running the football coachâ€™s statement. But add an editorâ€™s note at the end of the story, explaining that school officials, including the coach, reviewed the story and insisted that changes be made to it before it was published.
- Your own solution to the dilemma. Be specific.