Where USF faculty, students and graduates are invited to talk about journalism and its problems and opportunities. This blog is not affiliated with the University of San Francisco, nor is the university responsible for any of the opinions expressed herein -- though it is certainly responsible for the people who entertain those opinions, having educated them. They make us proud.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

For Final Day, the Ethics Class Created a Survey, Which We Sent to Alumni and 'Friends of the Class' Who Are in the Business

Since I am not a paying customer of Survey Monkey, only 10 questions are allowed per "page."




Full disclosure: The survey had too few people and those few from too great a variety of backgrounds to have “validity,” but some of the patterns in the answers are suggestive. I was interested that:

· so many people wouldn’t laugh at lame jokes in the service of a good interview – though one respondent when questioned more closely said she would “smile, of course”

· as I’ve always thought, “off the record” means different things to different people

· asking journalists what objectivity means is very nearly a party game

· some folk do feel that there are certain people and/or topics they would refuse to write about. I would have thought the more hateful the topic, the greater the challenge and, thus, the greater the appeal of the topic

· nobody respects sportswriting “the most”

· just how often does one have an ethical dilemma? Not that often…?

Now if we just had a bigger sample collected more “scientifically” – and if I were willing to pay Survey Monkey so that I could tease out correlations between (let us say) age and certain attitudes or current job category and certain attitudes – well, this would be more than cocktail chatter. But it is pretty good cocktail chatter.

Ethics class: You are cheeky monkeys, but I liked you very much. (Oh. I made the mistake of blind copying some of your sources and thus discovered I don’t have a full list of those I sent it to. Forward it to your “professional” sources if you wish.)

Those who filled out the surveys: I like you very much, too.

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