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Less than 30 minutes
  • Journalism
  • Media Ethics
  • 7-12
  • College/University

  1. Review the case study and background.
  2. Pass out copies of the case study and have students discuss it in small groups. Tell the groups they should attempt to come to a consensus about which of the multiple choice options they think is the best. They may also come up with another position.
  3. Ask the groups to share out their choice and reasoning.

  • Case study handout (download), one per student 

  • What option did you choose and why?
  • Who are the stakeholders in your decision, what are their interests and motivations, and how would each be affected?
  • What is your role/responsibility as a journalist?
  • Is this a public-safety issue and, if so, is that reason enough to publish the manifesto?
  • Whom, if anyone, would you consult in the decision-making process and how much influence would you give them?
  • What are the possible consequences of your decision?
  • Should a news organization be in the business of helping law enforcement?
  • Can you trust the Unabomber to end his attacks?
  • What are the dangers of acceding to a terrorist’s demands?
  • How do the journalism principles of “minimize harm” and “act independently” come into play?


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