Story by Marquis Newman
On Monday, Oct. 3 Jim Fisher, a professor at the University of Utah, gave a lecture to a group of students on the difference between ethics and morality in the context of journalism.
Fisher, a professor in the Department of Communication, is a former journalist and editor for Sunday Magazine, an insert for a Colombia, Mo. newspaper.
Monday’s lecture was to teach students and get them to think critically about the difference between morals and ethics.
“I thought Jim did a great job. He was very credible because he was editor for his own paper, and he opened my eyes to the difference between ethics and morals,” said Alex Goff, a student who attended the lecture.
According to Fisher, “Ethics is a process of making a decision.” Fisher presented different types of stories, scenarios and situations where the students had to make decisions that real journalists would have to make.
After the students made their decisions on each scenario, Fisher emphasized that no matter what the decision was, the student made an ethical decision because he “took the time to think about it.”
Fisher concluded the lecture by saying “The last thing to consider in an ethical argument is more-than likely loyalty.” He asked, what are journalists loyal to? Is it the paycheck, the ideal value of reporting facts and the truth, the community or anything else?
When asked about the lecture, freshman Rachel Maughan praised the “many good details” used and thought the stories made the lecture interesting.