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What media knows and ethical and legal responsibility

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SF_Express, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. Maybe this has already been answered ...
    Did Davis ever take the tape to the cops?
    Why go to the media and not the cops?

    I don't think ESPN or the paper is responsible civily for not turning the tape over to authorities.
    Morally? ... Well that's on them and I hope they sleep well.
  2. lcjjdnh

    lcjjdnh Well-Known Member

    The difference here, though, is ESPN never published anything.
  3. ringer

    ringer Active Member

    It's up to the alleged victim to report the crime to the cops, not the newspaper.

    What's very concerning, imo, is how quickly the public automatically gives credibility to the alleged victim. Granted, the tape involving Fine's wife seems pretty damning, but we don't really know anything about her.
  4. lcjjdnh

    lcjjdnh Well-Known Member

    So as a question of morality, do you absolve a normal citizen from this responsibility too? Or do you believe newspapers have a different set of obligations?
  5. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    This kind of thing has been debated forever. Photographer shooting a picture of something he could have made better or whatever. Reporters knowing information that could have stopped something bad from happening.
  6. Azrael

    Azrael Well-Known Member

  7. Dave Kindred

    Dave Kindred Member

    First rule of journalism: verify.
    If we can't verify that it's Fine's wife on the tape, we don't publish. Apparently, that couldn't be done. They had only Davis's word. And his word was already trash because three supposed corroborating witnesses denied his claims.

    I see no way they're liable. The police did investigate and said there was no case.
  8. A statement from Vince that doesn't exactly make me proud of my profession.
  9. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    When the story blew wide open, ESPN brought in an "independent audio analyst" to confirm the voice on the tape was Fine's wife. They got it done in a couple of days


    This isn't some new field, and they could have done the same in 2002. Why didn't they?

    My guess is some lawyer told them to do nothing.

    Lawyers are always looking to cover ass -- their clients, and their own. Lawyers get paid to say no.

    Every time I've ever asked a corporate lawyer for permission to do something, they've said no. I became a big believer in asking for forgiveness, not permission.
  10. lcjjdnh

    lcjjdnh Well-Known Member

    Right. I was trying to get at his answer. As above, I simply don't see how the newspaper could be absolved from moral responsibility, barring a utilitarian justification that failure to act in this circumstances creates a level of trust (b/c they protected sources) that will allow them to engage in morally greater conduct in the future. Hiding behind a set of "ethical" rules doesn't help, except to the extent those ethical rules overlaps with moral ones (in which case it's the morality that guides the ethics, not the ethics themselves). If not, one could create ethical guidelines for any immoral behavior to justify the activity.
  11. ringer

    ringer Active Member

    The responsibility of the newspaper is to get at the truth. Simple as that.
  12. somewriter

    somewriter Member

    This story "blew wide open" because ESPN rushed out its first story about the allegations. Then, because ESPN had created this story, then ESPN could justify confirming a tape that ESPN apparently had 9 years ago. Seems like a lot of tail wagging the dog, to me.

    I see no liability, or even ethical requirement that they release this tape 9 years ago. But if you have something like that in your possession, and you are OK with the possibility that this may happen to more kids if you do NOT act/verify/whatever, then I feel no pity for you when you can't sleep at night.
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