Public reactions toward an ethical dilemma faced by photojournalists: Examining the conflict between acting as a dispassionate observer and acting as a "Good Samaritan"

Yung Soo Kim, James D. Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

When documenting human tragedy, photojournalists frequently face ethical dilemmas in choosing between acting as dispassionate observers and Good Samaritans. This study asked whether readers adopt a situational ethics rationale when they assess the photojournalist's decision to make a photograph of a person suffering severe trauma. Using a mixed experimental research design, the study presented a news situation, i.e., a photograph in which a woman was on fire, in differing versions. Results based on the responses of seventy-two readers clearly showed that readers adopted a situational ethics rationale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-40
Number of pages18
JournalJournalism and Mass Communication Quarterly
Volume87
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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