Custodians of Conscience by James S. Ettema

By James S. Ettema

This e-book is the end result of greater than a decade of study and writing at the nature of investigative journalism as a kind of social and ethical inquiry. targeting the paintings of a few award-winning investigative newshounds, James S. Ettema and Theodore L. Glasser punctuate their research of reports and journalism with interviews with those writers and excerpts from their tales. Custodians of moral sense offers a strong evaluation and critique of the tensions and contradictions that represent smooth American journalism. it's a booklet that honors the rigor and significance of investigative journalism via exhibiting how evidence implicate values and via explaining why the way forward for information calls for a deeper appreciation for the relationship among human wisdom and human curiosity.

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What can be said of skills such as this? Skills of the Master Practitioner To the layperson the skills of any master practitioner—the design sense of the architect, say, or the diagnostic insight of the physician, or the courtroom maneuvering of the attorney—may appear wonderfully or perhaps threateningly mysterious. The client or patient, however, is invited to take In Search of Skills Not Taught in Textbooks 21 some comfort in the notion that the mysteries of professional practice are resolved by systematic application of theory and principle to the situation at hand.

In the midst of this intimate exchange, however, practitioners may not be able to explain to others (to textbook authors, for example) what, exactly, they have heard and said. Although practitioners know what to appreciate and how to respond, their knowledge is not easily articulated for it is, in Schön’s phrase, “knowing-in-action” more than knowing-in-words (p. 49). Creatively sustaining this conversation of actions-more-than-words is the essence of that irreducible element of art in professional practice.

I just wrote down, ‘Pension Plan A’ in my notebook. ” After the meeting was over, however, Marimow looked through his notes and decided to read that particular bill. “It turned out that the city council was going to double its pension benefits at a time when the city administration had just raised property taxes and was claiming there was a fiscal crisis,” he recalled. “Now, no other reporter in the room got that story. ’” The story was soon in the Inquirer, and the bill was soon back in committee from whence it never reemerged.

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