Paper Title

[1.1] A Duty to Report: Alternative Journalism as Political Obligation to Resist and Remedy Injustice

Location

International Building 1010, Moderated by Dr. Michael Gorman

Start Date

19-1-2019 10:30 AM

End Date

19-1-2019 11:45 AM

Disciplines

Journalism Studies | Philosophy | Political Science

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

What it means to be a journalist has changed significantly, as evolving responsibilities have led to inquiries on the role of journalists in society. What journalists ought to do, and what they owe to society is not easily defined, as their unique position of power and prestige can place a greater emphasis on political duty. As citizens, we are expected to adhere to our state’s laws and fulfill moral and political obligations in society. Journalists, as citizens, de facto share this duty. But what remains of this duty when faced with injustice? How should we restore justice to the state? I utilize a theory on political obligation developed by philosopher Candice Delmas, who argues that a duty to obey the law is supplemented with a duty to resist in states that are perpetuating conditions of injustice on its citizens. The duty of journalists in this context is not to remain neutral and unbiased, I argue, but instead must take an active part in resisting and remedying the injustice by utilizing their position of power and prestige. I aim to establish the extent to which journalists can satisfy Delmas’ theory on political obligation, through a case study on journalist Justin Brake. In 2016, Brake was charged with civil and criminal offences following his coverage of a controversial occupation of the Muskrat Falls project job site. I show that his actions were supported by Delmas’ arguments, and that resistance to injustice expects a greater commitment from those in the journalism field.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Jan 19th, 10:30 AM Jan 19th, 11:45 AM

[1.1] A Duty to Report: Alternative Journalism as Political Obligation to Resist and Remedy Injustice

International Building 1010, Moderated by Dr. Michael Gorman

What it means to be a journalist has changed significantly, as evolving responsibilities have led to inquiries on the role of journalists in society. What journalists ought to do, and what they owe to society is not easily defined, as their unique position of power and prestige can place a greater emphasis on political duty. As citizens, we are expected to adhere to our state’s laws and fulfill moral and political obligations in society. Journalists, as citizens, de facto share this duty. But what remains of this duty when faced with injustice? How should we restore justice to the state? I utilize a theory on political obligation developed by philosopher Candice Delmas, who argues that a duty to obey the law is supplemented with a duty to resist in states that are perpetuating conditions of injustice on its citizens. The duty of journalists in this context is not to remain neutral and unbiased, I argue, but instead must take an active part in resisting and remedying the injustice by utilizing their position of power and prestige. I aim to establish the extent to which journalists can satisfy Delmas’ theory on political obligation, through a case study on journalist Justin Brake. In 2016, Brake was charged with civil and criminal offences following his coverage of a controversial occupation of the Muskrat Falls project job site. I show that his actions were supported by Delmas’ arguments, and that resistance to injustice expects a greater commitment from those in the journalism field.