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Ethical Analysis

Case Description

John Doe is a famous journalist known for his investigative sourcing and reporting skills. He investigated and unearthed numerous cases of malpractice. The source of information for most John Doe’s stories has been people who are associated with the subject of the stories. In all of the cases that John Doe has reported, he has made sure to protect the identity of his sources due to their good relationship. The banking sector of John Doe’s nation has been declining gradually before it finally collapsed. John Doe followed the diminution of the banking sector before finally writing an exclusive an expose on the banking scandal in the country. In his article, he quotes an anonymous informant who narrates how an investment company “short” the nation’s banking sector stocks. The government decided to take matters into its hands and carry out an investigation to find out the people responsible for the downfall of the nation’s banking sector. The government wants John Doe to reveal the source of his information. The government officials demand the identity of the informant who helped John Doe unearth perhaps the biggest scandal in the nation. John Doe responds that he must maintain the confidentiality of the source of his information. The government is now threatening John Doe with jail term should he refuse to disclose the identity of the source.

Ethical Issue Statement-John Doe’s nation

Analysis of the ethical issue in the case can be divided into two parts. The first part requires a “no” or “yes” answer. The second part requires an answer that is an elaborate discussion. The first part deals with the ethical issue of confidentiality of sources of journalism. Therefore, the question that needs to be answered is: Should John Doe reveal the identity of his source? This question requires a “no” or “yes” answer. The second part as we mentioned calls for a elaborative answer that explores the pertinent facts of the case, ethical values, and consequences before coming up with a solution. The question for the second part is what should John Doe do?  Therefore the ethical issue under deliberation is the value of confidentiality of sources in journalism.

Possible Answers/ Resolutions-John Doe’s nation

The first resolution available to John Doe is to stay firm amidst incarceration threats and uphold confidentiality so as to protect the identity of his source. However, the form that protection should take is a fraught matter. John Doe wishes to respect his confidentiality commitment to his source, but this has also resulted in him needing protection