Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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Mike Wallace Debates Journalists’ Obligations When Covering War

The news-watching public noted the passing of long-time 60 Minutes correspondent Mike Wallace on April 7, 2012. Known for incisive questions to high-profile interviewees, Wallace himself was on the hot seat in Ethics in America, program 7, “Under Orders, Under Fire (Part II),” debating the role of the press in covering war atrocities. This debate starts around 31:00 in the video.

James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic, writes about the Ethics in America program in his post, “Dramatic Video of Wallace, Jennings, Gingrich, and ‘North Kosan‘.” Fallows points to his 1996 article, “Why Americans Hate the Media,” in which he opens with a description of the debate between Jennings and Wallace. He also notes how the series provides a look at public figures, such as Newt Gingrich, while they are in the early stages of their careers.

This debate in Ethics in America shows students the difficult decisions that journalists face when reporting from the field.