Researching Your 'Bull in the Ring' Topic
A successful 'Bull in the Ring' research strategy typically involves the following:
1) Find articles in academic and professional journalism periodicals focused on the ethical issue:
The Magazine & Journal Research tab above provides access to professional and academic journals in the field of journalism and mass communication and allows you to search the full text of titles like Journal of Mass Media Ethics, Columbia Journalism Review, Newspaper Research Journal, American Journalism Review, Quill, and St. Louis Journalism Review,
2) Locate newspaper articles which discuss(or are themselves examples of) an ethical controversy in the media
Use LexisNexis News (full text of 100s of newspapers back to the 1980s) to find examples of journalism which violated an ethical principal (e.g. the stories were plagiarized, or unfairly targeted someone running for political office) or articles which examine an ethical principle of journalism
3) Explore any legal aspects of the ethical issue, as discussed in law journals or debated in court
Many issues of journalistic ethics have been examined in court cases - LexisNexis Legal can locate both cases and laws related to ethical issues; law journal articles are also helpful for explaining how law and courts have treated the issue over time
4) Locate material to support your argument in books on journalism ethics (see Journalism Ethics Books tab)
The library has many books on journalism ethics which can provide helpful analysis, and case studies, of an issue.
Write down all the terms, concepts, names, issues, events you can think of which define this issue before you start your search. As you read about how your issue is described in articles, jot down these additional terms to use in further database searching.
What are the broader issues encompassing the ethical question? Privacy? Deception? Objectivity? The First Amendment? All of these concepts are treated at length in books and articles (many of the books set aside for this class are great for this); for the purposes of the assignment, is it possible to show that that the merits of your argument actually don’t conflict with the conventional wisdom on these topics?
Need more help? Feel free to contact me at the email address to the right.