“In July 1996 McKeown had pumped five bullets into the back of McGoldrick’s head from close range in a professional paramilitary killing………….after swearing me to silence about the killing, he then boasted about it to me…….despite the difficulty of going against a source this was a promise I eventually felt……that I could not keep” This is how ex journalist Nick Martin Clarke explains his decision to appear in court for the prosecution of McKeown, who eventually received a minimum of 24 years imprisonment for the crime. Further justifying his position he claims “An absolutist stance on confidentiality is akin to total pacifism or to not telling a lie even to save a life. It is an eccentricity that has little to offer real-world journalism…….. the principle of confidentiality, important though it is, is not an end in itself, but ultimately a means to disclosure which must remain for journalists……our primary purpose” Arguing against this, current Northern Ireland journalist John Coulter claims “For me, the fundamental ethical principle of journalism is that we have a moral imperative to give a guarantee of anonymity to genuine confidential sources providing bona fide information. There can be no [lack of] transparency in the trust that our sources must have in us as professional journalists. If we sacrifice that trust, we betray our credibility as reporters of the truth. Likewise, if there is no trust between the confidential source and the journalist, it destroys the concept of honesty in the verification of the evidence given by that source….. There is an old maxim, if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Applied to the journalistic issue of source protection it reads if you can’t keep your word, don’t do the story” Please comment - up to 200 words maximum, on what you believe Nick Martin Clarke should have down, and why. Comment 1 If I was Nick Martin Clarke, I would have kept silent. In journalism, there's a fine line between publishing the truth and keeping trust with your sources. It would have been useful here to quote perhaps something out of the NUJ code of conduct on this – or at least from Sanders or Bivins. It's all well and good printing things that are in the public interest Here – you should define the public interest (especially in a huge murder case), but if you start revealing sources and betraying trust, then you lose all credibility as a journalist and people will not want to deal with you in future. However, not telling anyone that you know who has committed such a grievous crime such as this would eat away at your conscience for the rest of your life, and that obviously that would not be a good thing... Although coming clean would morally be the best thing to do, Why would it? Is it always in every possible circumstance? Is this taking a Kantian perspective? If so – quote Kant, it wouldn't be right in this circumstance. Comment 2 The journalist is only the mediator of the final news that are know by the people, but they are still people. People that have in their own hand information of high value, but its has more value the justice than the profession itself. Thats why i will act as he did. Some issues here of clarity – Afraid I wasn’t quite sure of exactly what was meant. Comment 3 In this case I wouldn't have followed the line of action Nick Martin Clarke took. As a journalist you are often given information by sources in confidence. This could be expanded – why does this happen? That is a trust that has been built up between a journalist and the source, whoever they are. Nick Martin Clarke betrayed this trust and for me that is unforgivable. Whilst he might have thought he was doing the right thing for his own moral conscience and the public interest, he has completely misjudged the situation and has ruined his own career as a journalist in the future. The decision would have been an extremely difficult one for him to make but sometimes in life you have to put yourself first. Do you perhaps mean you have to put your professional values first? He should have kept to the journalistic rule of confidentiality and kept his credibility above board. Comment 4 My professional morale (morals, or ‘moral code’/ ethical code’?) and my personal morale would conflict. My professional morale Values? as a journalist would dictate not to tell because the source has given me his story in confidence my personal morale, however, would dictate to tell because murder is a horrible crime and a person should be punished for such a crime. Is it your job to help punish? Or just to publish the news? You might be a journalist in the newsroom When you received this information, were you a ‘journalist’ or a ‘human being’? but fact is that you're a human being when you leave work. In this sutiation Sp I would probably go with what I as a human being know is right and wrong (and to kill someone is very wrong) and I would have told because I have to be able to live with myself. Would you have left journalism then? Comment 5 I think that I would have kept silent if I was in Nick Martin Clarke's situation. Revealing sources is very damaging, and I would lose my credibility as a journalist. Is this an ‘egoist’ point of view? If I was to break that trust then my career would be considered over. I know that it would be very difficult to have this information on my conscience without doing something about it, but in the circumstances it would be better not to reveal it. What are the motives then for not revealing it? Can you quote an ethical position? Comment 6 In this case I wouldn't have followed the line of action taken by Nick Martin Clarke. As a journalist, a lot of time is spent building up trust with sources in order to get stories, and to betray that trust over anything would be absolutely fatal to your career. Are you taking an egoistical position here, or is ‘not betraying a trust’ a ‘rule’ (Kantian) which need to keep to? Even in a case such as this where Clarke clearly felt he was serving the public interest, it was the wrong decision given he is now on witness protection and will never be trusted again by anyone when it comes to keeping things confidential. Might you want to say anything about the wider circumstances? Have you read the Coulter article? If so, why not make it obvious you have – that’s what will get you marks. Comment 7 Keeping this to yourself would be very difficult and would eat at you for the rest of your life, especially if he were never prosecuted. However, I don't think I would have betrayed his trust. It destroys your reputation as a journalist, shatters any illusion of your trustworthiness, turns your -- and your family's -- world upside down (because you're going into witness protection) and would probably lead to other journalists being pressured to break confidences and reveal sources. So this is ‘consequentialism’ – you should point this out. Comment 8 Often as a journalist all you have to rely on is your reputation, Is there a quote from Bivins/ Sanders that could back this up – or is it just an assertion? and if you shatter that by revealing sources you are in turn ending your career in the media by destroying your professional credibility Is this an egoist position? Could you define an egoist position?. I'm not saying murder is acceptable, but in this instance it would pay to take care of yourself and make sure your source is kept confidential. Does that mean there are occasions it would not pay to do this? Would you do something different on these occasions? Examples? Comment 9 My personal opinion and professional opinion would collide indefinitely in this situation. A man has been murdered and his family will obviously want justice. He has committed a crime and he should be named and shamed.(Is this just an assertion? Can you tell me why he should be named and shamed? ) On the other hand as a journalist any sources given to you if asked, should remain confidential in order to be a trustworthy journalist.Could you quote a rule here? Or some guidance? If you declare a source your career would struggle So is this just egoism? as no one would come to you with information. However, this criminal was stupid enough to tell a journalist of his crime...he's taking quite a risk. Personally it would make me angry hearing someone boast about a murder, it would make me want to tell someone about it even more. Even though my heart would be with the victim's family, my head would tell me to do the professional thing Good point – but you need to elaborate - and keep my word. If you want to have a successful career in journalism you'll have to learn how to keep secrets. Again, perhaps elaborate here? Comment 10 I would be in two minds about what to do in this situation. The professional side of me would want to keep the information confidential to not only protect my career but also my family.Is there an ethical position which backs it? What is it? On the other hand I know living with this kind of secret would eat me up inside and stay with me forever. I would feel for the family who would never be able get closure and I have to put myself in their shoes. The fact that this criminal has boasted about his crime shows what kind of person he is and that he has no remorse, he is exactly the kind of person who should be punished. Does that mean if everything else was the same, but the criminal had remorse, you wouldn’t want to publish? How could you justify that ethically? If he did not want the information to get out then surely he would not have told a journalist. Even though I would feel very guilty,and a huge part of me would want to do the right thing I think in this situation I would try Hmm… would you try hard, or just a little bit, or a teensie weensie bit…..? to keep the information confidential. He is already in prison and if I was to testify I wouldn't just be putting myself in danger. Comment 11 As mentioned In class, I am not a journalism student but I do understand that there is ethical obligations to be upheld as a member of this industry, Could you quote this obligation? Code? especially when trying to uphold your integrity within your career. This being said, the 6-8 point list of morals discussed in class Need to quote Joan Byrd if these are her points……are not only based on morals within your career. As people we have morals as well, and I think that this specific dilemma with Nick Martin Clarke needs to be taken in context in regards to severity of the nature Can you elaborate? What makes it severe? The actual death, or the intention to kill? Would changing any of these make a difference? of what was confided to him by McKeown. Clarke, obviously made a decision to become a witness after considering his morals in regards to his career and his personal life, and did what he felt best. However, I am not saying what he did was the 'right' thing to do. He then opened a can of worms for the prosecution to examine all of his confidential information from previous journalistic works as evidence. This should have been something that he considered. All in all I feel that I cant make a decision as to what I would do in this instance. What if I feel I can’t give you a mark then…..? You need to say perhaps what an ‘egoistic’ individual might do, or what Emanuel Kant might recomment, or JS Mill….. (and use quotes) It depends on the severity of the incidence, there are no guarantees that 100% of the time journalists will follow the code of confidentiality. That being said, the quote made by John Coulter comes to mind. "If you cant stand the heat..." Good – but be a little more precise, since its an academic approach you’ll be marked on. Comment 12 As a journalist all you have is your word when it comes to your sources. It would be really useful to back this assertion up with a sources reference – could make all the difference to your marks! Betraying this trust not only ruined this man's career but essentially ruined his life.Might it be possible though for a ‘correct’ ethical decision, still to ‘ruin’ your life? What would you say about that then? If you put yourself in the situation where you have a working relationship with paramilitaries then you cannot afford to be hurt and offended when they relay information to you. Martin-Clarke obviously was torn due to his relationship with the victim's family but in this case, it wasn't his place or in the best interest of the press Again some academic backing to this would really help your mark. to tell the police. Plus could do with being a bit longer…. Comment 13 I'm completely with Coulter on this. Martin Clarke was obviously in an unenviable position, but he's a journalist - you have to be prepared to keep confidential information under wraps. You have to be careful here, and make sure you write in an academic manner (as well as an accessible one) Sure, Martin Clarke felt that the family should have justice - I don't think anybody would disagree that they deserve it. But by tarnishing the journalism profession, he's not only putting other journalists in danger but also potentially stopping them from serving the public interest in future - it will be harder to get sources to confide in them and, as a result, uncover important stories. This is a good point If I was using a deontological argument, I would consider my rule of respecting confidential sources and keep quiet. With a utilitarian standpoint, I would consider the ramifications to not only myself but others in the profession, and this would only reinforce my decision to keep quiet. This is an excellent approach – showing knowledge of different points of view, but would be strengthened by direct quotes It's not an ideal situation, but this isn't a profession where we ever tend to encounter ideal situations. Comment 14 Upon first reflection it is normal to think that of course we should tell because he has killed someone therefore he should be punished.Is it normal? What about rehabilitation rather than retribution? Perhaps you should elaborate this a bit….However, we must delve into the ethics of Journalism in this situation. Whilst conducting the interview Nick Martin Clarke took on the role of a Journalist and it would therefore be acceptable to claim that he should act within the structures which define the ethics of Journalism. One of these structures is confidentiality. Very good – but need academic backing for this statement – ie quote a code of conduct perhaps….During the process of this interview he was asked “Is this confidential?” to which Clarke replied “Yes” therefore abiding by a code of practice again quote which one….in Journalism. However he changed his stance once he heard about the murder of a taxi driver. If I were to find myself in this situation I would have to keep this information to myself as I obtained this information by promising confidently through being a Journalist. Furthermore, in reference to Immanuel Kant, if I were to change my Journalistic morals based on a this confession then surely that would be immoral as how can it be one rule for one person and then another rule for another. Excellent point, but a direct quote from Kant, or a more specific source would get better marks Comment 15 If I were in Nick Martin Clarke's shoes, I would not have taken the same course of action as he did. A journalist, throughout his/her career will need to develop and create contacts and work with sources. By taking this action, especially when told something which was passed on in confidence ruins a journalists credibility, and also damages the reputation of his/her peers, also noted by John Coulter. Very good. Could you mention the academic basis for this – egoism, plus consequentialism? There is a clear issue here in regards to 'doing the right thing' for moral conscience and public interest, however, there is also a need to do the right thing in relation to your profession. This suggests that the profession is somehow ‘wrong’ and the public interest is somehow right? Is this what you mean, and on what basis could you justify that assertion? Overall, it is clear to see why he did take the course of action as mentioned above, however, I would argue to keep credibility as a journalist and keeping the journalistic rule of confidentialityPlease quote the rule or the context of it…., he should have kept the information to himself. Despite being in a difficult position, I believe Clarke should have taken a non-consequential approach, rather than that of a egoistic one as he acted in the best interests of himself (clearing conscience), rather than doing something because it would be right - regardless of the outcome. Good points at the end – some direct quotes would have helped though. Comment 16 We are journalists, we aren't priests in a confessional box expected to have a vow of silence. Interesting. Are priests just ‘expected’ to have a vow of silence? What if they break it? In matters of grave importance like this, What makes it of grave importance? Does someone actually have to die. Or is there a scale of importance? When does it become grave? (no pun intended)? we as journalists cannot stand in the way of justice just because it may further our careers. Is that the only reason journalists do not give sources? Is it not that without this approach, journalism wouldn’t really be journalism? The way you act in this situation is a matter of conscience and ultimately defines you as a person, in my opinion. Someone has been killed and you have helped cover up that crime, the person who did it is boasting about it and you have to live with the guilt of that. I sympathise with Nick Martin Clarke because he clearly couldn't live with the guilt but he should have reported the crime straight away and broken his 'promise' to his source; he is only a reporter after all and he doesn't need to be bullied into the cover up of a murder. If as a result of Martin’s helping the police, should journalists expect other killers to treat them as professionals, or just as potential informants to the police’? Comment 17 The strong appeal of non-consequential ethics is that there is something concrete to base your opinion on (Bivins, Mixed Media p.66). Excellent – exactly the type of approach that gets you high marks….In this case, Nick’s professional code of ethics says to keep confidentiality. Need to source this assertion…. He shouldn’t even mull over whether he should tell the truth or not, he should simply follow the code. If fact, he did not follow the rule, so he acted immoral in an unethical manner? At the same time Immanuel Kant, whose philosophy is also linked to not following the rules irrespective to the consequences, Very good point. held that nothing was good in itself except good will. In Kant’s view, only the motive of the actor lent the action to its morality. Could you quote a more exact ref? It would get you top marks…Didn’t Nick act this way because he thought he was doing the right thing? He acted so, because he thought this is the right way to do, because he thought it was his duty to solve this case, to inform the family etc. In Kant’s view, actions have true moral worth only when aspiring from recognition of a duty and a choice to discharge it. Again, very good I can also acquit Nick with help of the philosophy (completely opposite to Kant’s one) of Niccolo Machiavelli, who believed that basing decision solely on consequences could excuse any action, even the most abhorrent. So If Nick acted egoistically, and thought breaking the promise of confidentiality will bring him the best outcome (he will at least sleep better at night knowing that he is not keeping the secret of the murderer), if he acted in his best interest (which obviously he did) , he is excused. Even due to consequential theories, Nick did the right thing, as if the consequences are good, the act is right. Modern utilitarianism asserts that we should always act to produce the greatest ratio of good to evil. What are the consequences of Nick telling the truth? Yes, the journalist lied and did not keep confidentiality, but the family of the dead person knows what happened, the murderer is in prison, which is positive not only for the family, but for the whole world. I should probably stop now, as it is obvious enough that I support Nick Martin Clarke’s decision. I do understand that journalists have to keep confidentiality in any case, and luckily I am not a journalist, because in this case I think I couldn’t keep this secret myself. This is really good indeed. Comment 18 Like Nick Martin Clarke I too would struggle to live with this piece of information, knowing that the murdered man's family want to know what happened to him. I am fully aware of the journalistic code of practice Again – here you would have to say exactly which ‘code’ you were referring to - and the fact that we have an obligation to grant people anonymity, but this is totally against my personal morals Probably best to use the word ‘ethics’ here in this situation. I personally could not sit back and essentially cover up this crime, potentially watch other people face trial and go to prison for something I am fully aware they didn't do. It is for that reason that I would take on Benthams 'greatest happiness' principle This is good – making me aware you know some of Bentham’s approach. However, it would have been better to have a more exact quote and reveal the man to be the murderer he is whatever the consequence and impact on myself. Interestingly here, although you are invoking Bentham ( a utilitarian – focussed on the ‘consequences’), you seem to be adopting the ‘greatest happiness’ as a ‘rule’ like Kant. So you would need to be more precise about which standpoint you thought you were adopting. Comment 19 Kant’s theory of non-consequential ethics This is good – mentioning a particular standpoint would imply that Clarke should follow the rule of his higher authority, i.e. the NUJ code which says you should always protect your sources.This is really good – but even better would be to also give, say a url where it could be found. The second Clarke considered breaking this code was the second that he stepped off the deontological path. Personally, I would adhere to the view that I should protect my source – not simply because I know that I should, but because I would look at the consequences of my actions. Again this is good – but to improve you could add that this is adopting a ‘utilitarian’ approach as well - If I tell, not only would I be breaking my word of confidentiality, but I would potentially be putting my own life in danger. J.S Mill’s caveats include ‘keep promises entered into voluntarily’,This is good – but it’s from my lectures. It would be better if you could quote where it was from in an original source in JS Mill, or paraphrased in Sanders or Bivins and I have promised this man that what he tells me remains confidential. I would adopt a utilitarian approach based on the usefulness of the potential outcome of the choice I make.Very good Bentham’s view is that human beings tend to avoid pain, Again a more direct quote here would be useful and this is what I would do – by not telling, I would be able to continue living my life, albeit with the guilt of knowing the truth on my conscience. I would be able to amend my actions in future by learning from my mistake Amending actions in light of results is one of the perceived benefits of utilitarianism – you could point this out– I would be more cautious about assuring confidentiality in future! Comment 20 Although confidentiality is a key principle of using sources in journalism, I do not see a need for it in this circumstance if I am truly honest.You probably want to avoid phrases like this – we assume you will be honest all the time… McKweon (SP)is clearly not sorry for his crime and I believe that renders the agreement invalid. Interesting – are you suggesting motives of someone else allow you to be totally dishonest in giving a promise then breaking it? Could you justify this ethically? Would Kant support you, or JS Mill? If he was so determined to remain anonymous then he shouldn't have done the story in the first place.I’m not sure what this means at all. Do you mean that if the killer wanted to remain anonymous, he should not have told the journalist? That would mean that you are arguing that pledges of protecting sources should never ever be given, as they should be broken as part of normal life. That means one of the main standpoints in the profession of journalism gets thrown out. Could the profession of journalism really continue to operate? The reporter is risking his own life for justice and to me, journalism is about paving the way for justice in our society. Is it not the justice systeml the laws and the police who pave the ways for justice in our society? From your standpoint, would Nick Martin Clarke not have been better to have left school and joined the police force, rather than think his future was in reporting or in journalism?At the end of the day, I would put my morals Maybe better to use ‘ethics’ here before my career. Comment 21 New York Times Reporter Judith Miller spent 12 weeks in jail after refusing to reveal her source in the Plame Affair It would have been useful to give more details of this – what was at issue in this Affair?. Miller said, "If Journalists cannot be trusted to keep confidence, then journalists cannot function and there cannot be a free press." However noble this is, Miller's case did not involve a boastful murderer. OK – to be clear, does this mean the NUJ code of conduct ought to be re-written to say ‘confidentiality should be kept….. apart from cases of boastful murder……? What if the murderer didn’t boast? Do you still break your pledge of confidentiality? What if he confesses he attempted to murder someone, but failed. Is this strong enough to break the promise? What if they confess to a murder (which might have been really gruesome at the time), but they now seem really, really repentant? It seems to me you either have codes or you don’t? There is nothing academically wrong about arguing you ought not to have codes, but you do need to be precise, as to what that ethical standpoint would lead to and its ethical justification. You cannot blame Nick Martin Clarke for making a promise he couldn't keep not knowing what McKeown will confess. See the points above. Unlike doctors and lawyers, journalists are not protected by law This may be true, but custom and practice means that the law rarely tries to get journalists to break their code of confidentiality or reveal sources, as there seems to be a general recognition that to do so undermines the possibility of journalism being really effective to keep confidentiality and a moral obligation to do so by the PCC code of conduct Are you sure this is the correct code to refer to? Surely the PCC code is the ‘Editors code’ for the press in general. does not suffice. Phillip Meyer states that a journalist's real clients are the readers and not the sources. Journalists live by ethical principles and as seen in this case they can be questioned by a person's moral judgement. This is interesting. If you are saying that journalist do live by ethical principles, you need to state which ones they are (in your understanding). Are you also saying that these are ones journalists can throw out due to ‘moral judgement’? It would have been interesting to see your point of view on John Coulter’s argument against Nick Martin Clarke. Everyone was asked to read this, since there is an argument in it. It would get you marks if you could show you had in fact read this. Unless there is a law that states 'thou shall not reveal your sources' like Clarke, I would be prepared to deal with the consequences of my actions if something as exceptional as this happens. This is interesting – could you say which ethical standpoint you are then adopting? Is it a ‘rule’ you’re living by? Or is it utilitarianism, looking at consequences? Or Act utilitarianism, adopting a general approach of keeping confidentiality (ie rule utilitarianism), but due to the specifics of this particular act, breaking confidentiality at the end of the day. Comment 22 I would have to say that I would do as Nick Martin Clark had done and reported McKeown to the police as this man murdered someone as a birthday present for the leader of the loyalist group. As a human being I would not be able to live with this on my conscience. I would accept the consequences of my actions knowing that (to me) I had done the right thing. I’d really be looking here for the ethical standpoint you are adopting. Is this because you believe that ‘thou shalt not kill’ or something similar? Or do you have a rule that ‘you shall not protect brutal murderers’? What if the victim had not died, and say had just been badly beaten? Does your standpoint still hold? What if there had been the ‘intent’ to kill, but nothing had happened (say the gun had jammed)? What if the killer had been truly repentant? I understand that, in journalism, protecting your sources can be important, For best marks here you should back this statement up with some reference to something academic – a quote from Sanders perhaps, or the NUJ perhaps however, protecting a man who has just confessed to the brutal murder of an innocent man seems to be top priority, in some journalist’s opinion, rather than bringing this man to justice. Are you saying then that the ‘top priority’ of journalists ought to be to bring law breakers to justice? Is that not the role of the police? Comment 23 In my opinion, the way Nick Martin Clarke acted was morally right. Although I can understand John Coulter’s point of view, that by betraying a source’s trust and by breaching confidentiality agreements a negative light could be shed on the rest of the journalism profession, which is also supported by Kant’s theory, This is very useful – it clearly shows you are aware of the counter arguments, but nevertheless are not convinced by them. but in this case there is a clear public interest in the solving of this brutal murder, especially because McKeown didn’t regret it in the slightest. Not sure about this – the public interest approach is one worth debating about, so I welcome it, however, surely McKeown’s attitude has absolutely nothing to do with whether something is in the public interest? Surely your argument would be based on the approach ‘solving an unsolved murder’ could be seen to be in the public interest. This would be irrespective of whether McKeown still boasts of murder, or whether he had become a born again Christian in jail!! As Nick Martin Clarke said himself “someone who might well have killed again will most certainly never have the change to do so again!” OK – I see where your argument is going now. Perhaps it would have been better to say it could be argued to be in the public interest as it seems McKeown would probably kill again (future threat), rather than ‘didn’t regret’ (past tense). This case shows that sometimes individuals have to decide to act according to either their professional or their personal moral principles, as these are not compatible. Clarke decided to prioritise to inform the public over keeping a promise, which led to solving a murder and bringing closure for the victim’s family. This, in my opinion, is the morally right decision. This is a useful academic approach involving your own judgement based on arguments for and against – well done. Comment 24 Firstly it is important to identify that Nick Martin Clark clearly based his decisions on a personal level rather than his duty as a journalist. To that effect he was following the Kantian view of ethics in that the following of rules, the rational thinking process and the categorical imperative led him to make the decision to involve the police. But could journalists not argue that their codes are based on exactly this approach, except the ‘values’ or ‘rules’ or ‘imperatives’ are ones that clash with other ‘rules’ (one of the dangers of a de-ontological approach) The categorical imperative is the moral rule of Kantian theory and illustrates that an individual will behave rationally by following rules and only acting in such a way that one would want another to act towards them. Very good In summary, it means that any actions by the individual would be fit to become universal law and not harm anyone. Again, very good furthermore, Clark’s situation is an example of Kant’s theory that should all individuals act rational then all individuals will reach the same conclusion i.e knowing right from wrong. One could argue here then, that all journalists opposing Clark should have agreed with Clark in the decision to inform the police had they been rational and aware of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. What you are showing here is one of the dilemmas of a de-ontological approach. What if different people decide on different ‘rules…!’ On the other hand however, Coulter was clearly following the consequential theory of ethical behaviour as his fundamental argument that all journalists have the obligation to protect a source if sworn to secrecy in order to protect the reputation of journalists is similar to the utilitarian approach of ‘The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number’ which overall suggests that the decision to report a source was benefitting a small percentage of people unlike Coulter’s approach that would protect the stance, reputation and honour of journalists, This is well argued To summarise in order to answer the question, what one should do and why it really depends on the individual and their own personal theory of ethics as it can be clearly seen that depending on what an individual follows the outcomes can be very different and cause conflict/argument between all individuals regardless of gender or profession. Personally I would follow the Kantian theory of ethical behaviour perhaps best to add here “which I have interpreted above, in terms of a guide to my actions” purely through the agreement with the categorical imperative. It is easier for me however to follow this theory in this situation as I am a media student not a journalist and have little experience in the argument of protecting sources. Well argued and considered Comment 25 I personally would have done the same thing as Nick Martin Clarke. Journalists are not above the law. The are members of the public and have a duty to report crime. I think you are on shaky ground here. Do you mean by this ‘no-one’ is above the law? Would you agree that the police therefore should stop using ‘informers’ (who are sometimes small scale crooks) in order to solve bigger crimes? i.e. if a police officer is offered information about something, they should arrest the source if they have broken the smallest law? The point I’m trying to make here, is that custom and practice is that journalists are understood to sometimes be aware of law breaking but its not their job to ‘catch law breakers’ their job is to ensure a free and open and informative press….As a human being I believe (SP) if you kill someone you should be punished, Is this based on ‘Kantian’ principles? If so you should develop this point more – referring to some academic sources and I don't beleive (SP) in protecting a killer to save one's career. I under stand John Coulters point of view of dealing with the heat and proteting (SP) sources however I feel you must do what is morally right, and fundamentally that lies within the person themself. I agree, however, for you to get high marks you need to clearly show which ethical standpoint this approach would entail. For instance, if what is morally right lies within the person himself, what if the killer believed that catholics should be killed (as happened), since it infringed his (protestant?) religion? Would that mean he was following a ‘moral rule’ found in himself? Would that be OK? i.e. would we treat this as a case of moral opinions being subjective or ‘relative’ – or like I suggested in class, some things are ‘just wrong’? Following Clarkes actions this follows Kants theory that one knows the 'higher order' of things, Clarke put is personal benefits aside- if he proceted (SP) his source his career would not be affected - and did what most humans would do and know 'right' from 'wrong'. In this case I beleive (SP) Nick Martin Clarke made morally the right decision and brought a killer to justice and brought closure to the victims family.