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Ethical Theories & Decision-Making Models

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Presentation on theme: "Ethical Theories & Decision-Making Models"— Presentation transcript:

1 Ethical Theories & Decision-Making Models
The Three Principles The Potter Box The Bok Model The Nine Checkpoints The Ten Questions

2 The Three Principles #1 – Ends-Based Thinking:
“Do what’s best for the greatest number of people.” #2 – Rule-Based Thinking: “Follow your higher sense of principle.” #3 – Care-Based Thinking: “Do what you want others to do to you.”

3 Ends-Based Thinking What will eventually happen if this decision is made? What are the possible outcomes? With that in mind, what decision benefits the greatest number of people?

4 Rule-Based Thinking What is the universally “right” decision?(universal law) What standards should be followed regarding this decision?

5 Care-Based Thinking Imagine yourself in their shoes…
What would we want done to us in this situation? (examine all stakeholders)


7 Understanding the FACTS
Discuss all the facts of the case with those involved in making the decision. What are the facts? Outlining VALUES What is valued by those making the decisions? How does this impact the ethical decision? When an idea or principle is valued, it means one is willing to give up something for it.

8 Articulation of LOYALTIES
Apply the PRINCIPLES Once it is decided what is valued, philosophical principles should be applied. Examine – Aristotle's’ Golden Mean, Kant’s Categorical Imperative, and Utilitarianism. Articulation of LOYALTIES Examine loyalties and see if any conflict. Make ethical decision based on this process.

9 The Bok Model Your conscience
1.) Consult your own conscience – about the “rightness” of an action. How do you feel about the action? 2.) Seek expert advice – for alternatives to the act creating the ethical problem. Is there another way to achieve the same goal that will not raise ethical issues? 3.) Conduct a public discussion – with the parties involved in the dispute. If they cannot be gathered, conduct the discussion hypothetically. How will others respond to the proposed act?

10 The Nine Checkpoints 1.) Recognize that there is a moral issue – What is the true ethical dilemma? 2.) Determine the actor – Whose moral or ethical issue is it? 3.) Gather the relevant facts – What are the important facts for the ethical dilemma? 4.) Test for right versus wrong issues – Is there a clearly right or wrong answer? 5.) Test for right versus right paradigms – What sort of dilemma is this? (truth vs. loyalty, self vs. community, short-term vs. long-term or justice vs. mercy)

11 The Nine Checkpoints 6.) Apply the resolution principles – What are some of the possible resolutions to the dilemma? (Use Aristotle’s Golden Mean, Kant’s Categorical Imperative and Utilitarianism to reason) 7.) Investigate the “trilemma” options – Is there a third way through this dilemma? 8.) Make the decision – After applying checkpoints #1-7, what is the best possible resolution? 9.) Revisit and reflect on the decision – After the decision was made and the consequences have occurred, ask was this the best decision?

What do I know? What do I need to know? What is my journalistic purpose? What are my ethical concerns? What organizational policies and professional guidelines should I consider? How can I include other people, with different perspectives and diverse ideas, in the decision- making process?

What are the stakeholders – those affected by my decision? What are their motivations? Which are legitimate? What if the roles were reversed? How would I feel if I were in the shoes of one of the stakeholders? What are the possible consequences of my actions? Short term? Long term? What are my alternatives to maximize my truth-telling responsibility and minimize harm? Can I clearly and fully justify my thinking and my decision? To my colleagues? To the stakeholders? To the public?

14 Works Cited The Nine Checkpoints:
Kidder, R. (2003). How good people make tough choices. New York: Harper Paperbacks. The Three Principles, The Potter Box & The Bok Model – Wilkins, L., & Patterson, P. (2008). Media ethics: Issues and cases. (6th ed.). McGraw-Hill Higher Education. 10 Questions Before Publication – Created by ASNE Ethic’s Committee

15 “That does not mean, however, that there is no logical and sequential process for ethical decision-making. True, we may not be aware that a pattern exists, but that does not mean that there is no pattern…Developing real skill at ethics requires that intelligence fuse with intuition, that the process be internalized, and that decisions be made quickly, and naturally.” ~ Rushworth Kidder

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