When University of Oklahoma journalism professor and grad studies director David Craig tells new acquaintances his area of specialty " ethics in the media " he gets a common response: laughter.
People's perspective on ethics in the field seems to be that it's "hard to believe that anyone takes that seriously," he said. "There's definitely a problem with lack of public trust."
Craig and other media professionals are taking that concern seriously, themselves, this week, via a conference geared toward journalists of all stripes. "Building Trust " Media Ethics for the 21st Century" runs all day Thursday and Friday in the Nigh University Center at the University of Central Oklahoma.
A February Zogby poll found two-thirds of Americans are dissatisfied with the quality of reporting within their own communities, and two-thirds consider traditional journalism irrelevant.
Mark Hanebutt, event host and journalism ethics professor at UCO, said surveys over the past years indicate trust in the media is diminishing " a change from decades ago when the public, if skeptical, at least respected the press.
"We thought it would be wise to hold a conference to help the media get a handle on (diminished trust) and try to figure out a way to re-examine their role in society and perhaps stop that," he said.
Rather than simply dealing with trust itself, seminars will tackle what areas within the media may exacerbate distrust. For more information, call 974-5576 or visit their site. "Emily Jerman