can+ethics+trump+law - Poynteronline = Talk About Ethics...

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Poynteronline = Talk About Ethics Can Ethics Trump Law? Six criteria to help you decide when it's OK to break the law. By Bob Steele Should journalists ever break the law to report a story? Is there a justification for putting ethical obligations above legal obedience? Those questions are at the heart of the debate about the ABC News report that tested security at American ports. ABC News producers shipped a container containing depleted uranium from Jakarta, Indonesia to the United States. ABC News said its "project involved a shipment to Los Angeles of just under 15 pounds of depleted uranium, a harmless substance that is legal to import into the United States." ABC NEWS reported that U.S. Government screeners failed to detect the depleted uranium in that container. ABC News said this was the second year in a row that the government screeners failed this same test. The ABC News website quotes Tom Cochran, a nuclear physicist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, "which lent the material to ABC News for the project." "If they can't detect that, then they can't detect the real thing," Cochran said. The ABC News website reports "Cochran said the highly enriched uranium used for nuclear weapons would, with slightly thicker shielding, give off a signature similar to depleted uranium in the screening devices currently being used by homeland security officials at American ports." Some government officials say ABC News went too far in their reporting methods. The Washington Post quotes Homeland Security Department spokesman Dennis Murphy: "It appears they violated the law, and the Justice Department is taking a look at that. Does a news organization have a right to break the law? Can
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This note was uploaded on 01/18/2012 for the course JOMC 141 taught by Professor Loisboynton during the Spring '11 term at UNC.

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can+ethics+trump+law - Poynteronline = Talk About Ethics...

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