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Newspaper editors to discuss ethics in journalism

Date of Release: 04/19/2005

SAN MARCOS—The editors of the Austin American-Statesman and the San Antonio Express-News will participate in a panel discussion on April 26 at Texas State University-San Marcos that puts audience members in the driver’s seat of Central Texas’ leading newspapers.

Rich Oppel, editor of the American-Statesman, and Bob Rivard, editor of the Express-News, will join Texas State University faculty members and the editor of the university’s student newspaper in an interactive discussion in which audience members will get the chance to make the same decisions they make on a daily basis. The event will highlight the ethical concerns behind these choices and how they affect readers’ perceptions.

Vince Luizzi, chair of Texas State’s philosophy department, and David Doerr, president of the Society of Professional Journalists at Texas State, will moderate the event. Audience members will break into groups led by panelists to discuss a particular editorial decision, ranging from the use of graphic photos to the acceptance of tickets for coverage of news events.

“Journalists don’t have anything if they don’t have integrity,” Doerr said. “Ethical journalists are key to the success of any news operation, and we wanted to give audience members an appreciation for the wide-variety of decisions journalists have to make on a day-to-day basis.”

Audience members will also have the opportunity to ask questions about ethics policies and the internal decision-making processes at the participating newspapers.

Bob Mann, mass communication lecturer at Texas State and former press secretary for Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy, and Scooter Hendon, editor of Texas State’s The University Star, are also featured as panelists.

The event will be held at 7 p.m. in Old Main, Room 320. For more information, contact Doerr at (512) 557-5643.