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What Values? We ask again, and point to ethics lesson plans that could lead to answers


We continue to raise  the question, borrowed partially from a recent ethics workshop at Kent State University: What Values?

What value is there in prior review by anyone outside the student media staff? Even if administrators can claim some sort of legal allowance stating they can, what are the ethical and educational  values indicating they should? Who gains? Who is harmed? What elements of the school mission are fulfilled? How does the action serve truth and accuracy?

Along this line is a relatively new upshot on prior review (maybe not new, but certainly new to this timeframe): The superintendent as publisher; the principal as editor and the adviser as assistant adviser.

The students: certainly not getting a journalism education.

We would again ask: What is the educational value? How does this address the greater good? Who benefits? Who is harmed? What are students learning about the values of a school system that removes them from the process of critical thinking and decision making –  and also puts their teacher and principal in legal harm’s way?

What values – educational or otherwise – are at play?

Speaking of What Values, those teachers interested in lesson plans to address journalism ethics and discussions on online ethics have a free source.

The plans are available for high schools to supplement Kent State-Poynter What Values? workshop Sept. 17. Download materials at the workshop site by scrolling down to the lesson plan button. You can also follow the discussions on online journalism ethics from the workshop.

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