An ethical critique of the Prague Post coverage of the Romany migration story, 1997-98
Kenney, Richard James
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The 1993 book, Good News, by Clifford Christians et al., provided an argument that traditional press models had failed ethically in the building and maintenance of communities. This radical theory, sometimes equated with the civic/public journalism movement of the 1990s, in its purest form has never been tested in practical journalism. This dissertation explores whether and how Christians et al.’s communitarian theory might be applied to a particular newspaper in the emergent civil societies of post-communist Eastern or Central Europe. News coverage of the 1997-98 Czech Romany migration story as it appeared in an Englishlanguage newspaper is critiqued from the communitarian perspective. Through a textual analysis of the newspaper coverage, discursive strategies are mined for their inherent ethical values. Because the Romany migration story centered on the treatment of a marginalized group in civil society, the communitarian perspective provides the ideal lens through which to examine the coverage and critique its ethics.