Posted by: kklist | March 9, 2015

The Ethics of Follow Through

Hiya Ethics,

We’ve talked in class about the ethical obligation to follow up on important stories and to look beyond what happens to individuals to see if you can report on system failure and, by doing so, help make some sort of long-term difference.

This piece on the Justice Department’s investigation of Ferguson on the front page of today’s Times looks beyond that city’s police department to those in neighboring towns and around the entire state. It’s clearly not just Ferguson police who need to make significant changes to ensure equal justice:

“Ferguson is one dot in the state, and there are many municipalities in the region engaged in the same practices a mile away,” said Vanita Gupta, the Justice Department’s top civil rights prosecutor. “It would be a mistake for any of those neighboring jurisdictions to fold up their hands. They should absolutely take note of this report.”

Take a quick look at this piece, including the graphic, to see how the Times has gone beyond the tragic death of Michael Brown to report on system failure not only in Ferguson but around the entire state of Missouri.

On Tuesday, we’ll do some analysis of rape coverage in class, and on Thursday, we’ll move on to Diversity. See you then!

best,
k

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