" Persons seeking wholeness and maturity rise above the implicit utilitarianism of rule-keeping to develop the conscience of virtuous persons. To follow rules blindly is to surrender moral impulse". (Keeble, 2001)


Journalist A is writing a story on drug dealing. He buys drugs undercover from a dealer to get closer to the story and believes this will contribute to the greater good by exposing the dealers in the end. Journalist B thinks it is wrong to buy drugs to as it breaks his code of conduct and sees other ways in which the story can be approached. Does this reject the above quote from Keeble which says to follow rules blindly is to surrender moral impulse? Journalist B is applying his own values and sticking to the rules, but does this mean his 'moral impulse' is surrendered if he does what he believes is right?

Conor Brady in 'Responsibility in Coverage and the Public Interest', (McGonagle, 1997) outlines existing similarities between journalists and lawyers - both individuals involve themselves at the very deepest levels of other people's lives; both live on another man's wound and in doing so, may lose sight that their routine is another person's crisis; both individuals walk into a major issue of someone's life, summarise it to their own advantage, reach a decision and move on; and both live by the sweat of their brow-beating.
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However, no two professions could be as dissimilar in theory and in practice as law and journalism. Every day, journalists face challenges that question both their professional and personal conscience. For a journalist to turn his back on his professional code (i.e. to break the code of conduct) and instead make a judgement based on his own value system, this could result in either success or failure depending on the story. On the other hand, lawyers have a strict professional conscience consisting of rigid rules and regulations, rights and wrongs. For a lawyer to break his professional code ...

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