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Ethical scenarios

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Scenario 1:

Several in the sophomore class have asked the photo editors to remove their braces in their yearbook photo. The photo editor has asked the editor for advice. 

What are some of the consideration points to consider as journalists? What should the editor’s advice be? Is this a legal or ethical consideration?

Directions for next step for each scenario: (Please note, under each of the next scenarios, the links to post are after the scenario description.)

After a discussion, the teacher could post the following link and ask students to now look at one of these and then repost to their original points to figure out if they were correct in their reasoning and idea.

Scenario 2:

As the sports editor, you want to include a screenshot of your local professional women’s basketball team from the local newspaper’s website to accompany a story on the stoppage of sports. Is this legal use of a photo? If it’s not, what might be a better option?

SPRC link for teachers to post.

Scenario 3:

A student who used to be on staff wrote a letter to the editor questioning the purpose of student media. Should you include the letter? Would it be different if it were an online comment only?

SPRC links for teachers to post:

letters and commentary

online comments.

Scenario 4:

Two students passed when the car was hit by a drunken driver. Should you cover the fatality? How might you do this?

SPRC link for teachers to post.

Scenario 5

Next year, you have plans to make some changes to increase readership. The editorial board is deciding whether to add senior quotes, senior superlatives and senior wills. What are the pros and cons to these? Should they be included in student media?

SPRC links for teachers to post:

senior quotes

senior superlatives

senior wills

Scenario 6:

The students would like to publish an April Fool’s edition of the news media. Given what you know about the role of the student press, should this be done?

SPRC link for teachers to post.

Scenario 7:

You receive the following request:

“I was a student two years ago, and I was interviewed/wrote a story/was in a photo/made a comment that I regret now. I don’t want this showing up in Google searches. Please remove this story from your site.”

SPRC link for teachers to post.

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