Paper: We Need Anonymous Sources

My third paper written in college; this was meant to be a comprehensive research paper. It actually ended up sucking pretty badly in terms of writing, but if you can look past the bad writing and the argumentative properties (I am arguing one side of it, after all), it serves as a decent introduction to the legal status of anonymous sources today. (Also, reading at least part of the court opinions and the decisions in the Judith Plame case are highly recommended.)

Why We Need Anonymous Sources

Journalists are considered the ultimate check on our government. They courageously uncover and report on governmental abuses and stories of great public importance. The information they provide has toppled administrations and shown the public the sorts of crimes we commit in the name of peace. One of their most important tools is the anonymous source; the whistle blower who is unwilling to speak on the record for fear of losing a job or breaking an unjust law. These sources have been instrumental in most of the journalistic coups of the last half-century, and it is clear that the entire country, through journalists, has come to depend on them. Continue reading “Paper: We Need Anonymous Sources”

Paper: Ethics in Investigative Reporting

This paper discusses ethics in investigative reporting through Woodward & Bernstein’s All the President’s Men (if you haven’t read this book, you need to). It’s not so good as the last one I posted, but does provide an interesting glimpse into some of the tactics of investigative journalism if you’ve yet to read the book or have forgotten it.

Ethical Boundaries in Investigative Reporting

Watergate. It is a name whose meaning stretches far beyond a luxury Washington hotel. It is a name of scandal, crime, and cover-up. It is a name that changed a generation. It is a name that destroyed a President. And so it may dishearten some to consider that Watergate’s new meaning was revealed to us through incredibly unethical investigative reporting. Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward were arguably directly responsible for the Watergate investigations and most certainly played an instrumental role in keeping the incident in the public consciousness. Yet in their book All the President’s Men they portray their own investigation as fraught with moral lapses. And while they admitted to having private doubts, they continued on because it is sometimes acceptable for investigative journalists to be morally flexible.
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Paper: Bias in the Media

Shortly after I arrived at college as a freshman, I was in a “Reading the News” writing course, and decided to analyze the biases present in the Fox News and LA Times articles when President Bush took responsibility for the federal government’s failures in Hurricane Katrina. This is one of my better papers.

Media Political Bias
A study of &

President George W. Bush recently shocked the country (or at least its liberals) when he personally accepted responsibility for the federal government’s failures (in search & rescue, refugee services, and mobilization of personnel) in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and its flooding of New Orleans. It was hailed as his first admission of failure (in 5 decidedly mixed years of presidency), a politically astute move, and another brainchild of political mastermind Karl Rove. But regardless of its motivation, his statement provides an interesting case study in the realities of media bias.

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