Journalist: It is unethical for journalists to lie-to say something untrue with the purpose of deceiving the listener...

Ceci on January 16, 2019

why not..

Why not E? It seemed to work in my eyes...

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Katherine on February 16, 2019

Hi @Ceci,

Let’s take a look at Answer E. Answer E says the journalist is arguing by “clarifying and defending a moral principle by comparing a case in which it applies to one in which it does not apply.”

In this case, the moral principle is that “it is unethical for journalists to lie.” While the journalist can be said to be “clarifying” this moral principle, they are not so much “defending” it. In order to defend a moral principle, the journalist would need to be responding to those who call it into question. That is not the case here. The journalist is not defending this idea against those who say that journalists SHOULD be able to lie.

Turning to the second half of Answer E, is the journalist really “comparing a case in which it applies to one in which it does not apply"? Is the journalist saying that the principle of lying being unethical doesn’t apply when a journalist withholds information? I think the journalist would say this principle still applies in this scenario. Indeed, the principle should guide journalists' behavior at all times. Instead, the journalist is saying that the principle still applies, only that withholding information is not truly lying.

For these reasons, Answer E does not accurately express how the journalist is making their argument. The correct answer, Answer A, does a better job at expressing how the journalist draws distinctions between two cases (actively encouraging false belief vs. withholding information) in order to show that these two activities cannot both be considered “lying” by journalists.

I hope this helps. Please reach out with other questions!