Your final project

For your final project, you will write a research paper on a topic of your choosing related to ethics in journalism. Your completed paper should be 2,500 to 3,000 words long. If you were printing it out, a paper of that length would comprise eight to 10 double-spaced pages. But you will be posting it to your blog.

You may select your topic and structure your paper however you see fit. The only rules are these:

  • Find a topic that has generated plenty of news coverage. Avoid cases we have discussed extensively in class.
  • Set forth a clear and specific argument.
  • Back up your argument with examples from your research.
  • Make sure your writing is polished and accurate, and that you proofread for errors.
  • Be sure to provide proper and full attribution, linking to your source material when possible or citing it in the text if it is not online.

Choosing a topic: Start by figuring out what aspect of journalism ethics interests you. You may choose any of the areas we have explored in class or anything else that is relevant to the practice of ethical journalism. One way to get the gears moving would be to review “The Elements of Journalism.” (The full text is available in hard copy and online through Snell Library.)

From there, narrow your focus and develop a particular angle by zeroing in on a specific ethics-related theme. If you are sure whether your topic will work, please run it by me. Part of the assignment, though, is for you to define an angle. Do not expect me to hand you a topic.

Format: Posted to your blog, including relevant photos, graphics or video.

Deadline: Your paper must be posted by Thursday, June 25, sent to me by email by Monday, June 29, at 10 a.m. Once I have returned your edited, graded paper, please post it on your blog.

My attribution: This assignment, including much of the wording, is based on one developed by Professor Alan Schroeder.


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