Civil Disobedience, Alternative Journalism, Political Obligation, Justin Brake, Muskrat Falls


Ethics and Political Philosophy | Journalism Studies | Philosophy


Traditional media tenets of objectivity and impartiality have led to amoral and passive journalistic practices, which reinforce problematic status quos and allow inequality to flourish. Journalists ought to utilize their positions of power in democratic societies to address and rectify injustice through responsible reporting practices. This argument is supported with a theory on political obligation and duty by philosopher Candice Delmas, who argues that obeying the law in just states validates a duty to disobey the law in unjust states which infringe on citizen rights. Journalists have the ability to adequately fulfill this duty; however, this is not always acted upon due to the limitations of journalistic objectivity. Alternative forms of journalism are identified as approaches by which journalists may accomplish their duty to resist injustice. Alternative journalism places a greater emphasis on social responsibility and community building and are better models for journalists to achieve ideal media practices to improve societies and challenge injustice.