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The Korean Society for Journalism & Communication Studies - Vol. 65 , No. 4

[ Article ]
Korean Journal of Journalism & Communication Studies - Vol. 65, No. 4, pp.185-238
Abbreviation: KSJCS
ISSN: 2586-7369 (Online)
Print publication date 31 Aug 2021
Received 09 Apr 2021 Revised 30 Jul 2021 Accepted 13 Aug 2021

언론인의 윤리적 가치관 유형에 따른 취재보도 원칙의 중요도 인식 및 수행도 비교
**서울대학교 언론정보연구소 객원연구원

Perception and Practice of Journalism Ethics by Ethical Orientation of Korean Journalists
Hyun Kyung Oh**
**Visiting Research Fellow, Institute of Communication Research, Seoul National University (
Funding Information ▼


본 연구는 언론윤리규범에 대한 언론인들의 인식과 실천에 대해 실증적으로 탐구하는 것을 목적으로 한다. 최근 언론인들을 대상으로 한 국내외의 조사 결과에 따르면, 취재보도의 원칙에 대한 중요도 인식은 실제 취재현장에서 이를 준수하는 실행 수준과는 상당한 괴리가 있는 것으로 나타나고 있다. 이러한 현상을 이해하기 위해 본 연구는 먼저 의무론적 관점, 목적론적 관점, 덕 윤리를 중심으로 한 이론적 논의 및 실증 연구들을 바탕으로 하여 언론인의 윤리적 가치관을 절대주의, 상황주의, 절충주의, 개인주의의 네 유형으로 구분하였다. 그리고 각 윤리관에 따라 취재보도 원칙의 중요도 인식 및 수행도 평가에서 어떠한 차이를 보이는지 분석하였다. 국내 언론사에 근무하고 있는 기자들을 대상으로 온라인 설문조사(n=303)를 수행하여 분석한 결과, 절대주의 윤리관에 동의하는 기자들일수록 전반적인 취재보도 원칙의 중요성에 공감하며 실행 수준 또한 높은 것으로 나타났다. 또 절충주의 관점에 동의하는 기자들은 다른 기자들에 비해 인권보호의 원칙에 해당하는 항목에서 중요도를 높게 평가한 것으로 나타났고, 상황주의 윤리관에 동의하는 기자들은 다른 기자들에 비해 품위 유지, 투명성 등에 해당하는 항목에 대해 중요성을 낮게 평가하는 현상이 두드러졌다. 개인주의 윤리관에 동의하는 기자들의 경우, 다른 집단과 비교했을 때 중요성을 낮게 평가한 원칙은 많았지만 수행도가 유의미하게 낮은 원칙은 없었다. 한편, 상황주의 및 개인주의 윤리관에 동의한 기자들은 공통적으로 갈등을 야기하는 보도에 대해 관대한 경향을 보였다.


This study aims to empirically explore the perception and practice of journalism ethics among Korean news reporters. According to recent studies of journalists, including the Korean Journalists Survey as well as the World of Journalism Study, a considerable gap was found between how journalists perceive the codes of ethics as professional journalists and how they maintain those ethical standards in practice while newsgathering. To understand this gap, this study categorized journalists’ ethical orientation into four types based on theoretical as well as empirical studies about deontology, teleology, and virtue ethics: (1) absolutists, who agree with the idea that journalists should always adhere to codes of professional ethics regardless of situation and context; (2) situationalists, who argue that unethical practices can be justified for more important public interest in some cases; (3) eclecticists, who maintain rather a compromising position between absolutists and situationalists, focusing more on virtue ethics and who thus consider any report that can harm others is wrong regardless of its outcome; and (4) individualists, who believe that what is ethical in journalism is a matter of personal judgment. Based on this conceptualization, this study measured journalists’ ethical orientation and analyzed how journalists’ perception and performance of morality as professionals vary across orientation. For measuring perception and performance of morality, this study chose the six principles, i.e. truth, fairness, independence, transparency, protection of human rights, and maintenance of professional integrity, from the journalists’ code of ethics; and five clauses were extracted from each principle. A total of 30 items were used to measure how journalists perceive the importance of these ethical standards and to measure how they evaluate themselves in following those principles while newsgathering on the scene. An online survey of 303 Korean journalists was conducted. Among the respondents, 86.5% agreed with absolutism, 33.6% eclecticism, 33% situationalism, and 25.8% individualism. Results showed that those agreeing with absolutism, when compared to others, were more likely to consider most principles important and to rate themselves highly in maintaining those ethical standards on the scene. Those agreeing with eclecticism tended to perceive the protection of human rights especially more important than those who disagreed with eclecticism, while those agreeing with situationalism tended to perceive maintenance of professional integrity, as well as transparency, less important than those who disagreed with situationalism. Also, those who agreed with individualism perceived many principles to be less important compared to those who disagreed with individualism, while no principles were found to be less significant when it came to practice. Moreover, journalists who agreed with situationalism or individualism tended to be lenient with reports causing social conflict.

Keywords: ethical orientation, journalists’ code of ethics, perceived importance, practice
키워드: 언론인의 윤리관, 취재보도 원칙, 중요도, 수행도


This study was sponsored by 2020 Rising Scholars Program of Korean Association for Broadcasting & Telecommunication Studies and Hyundai Home Shopping. (이 논문은 한국방송학회-현대홈쇼핑 2020년도 신진학자 연구지원 사업에 의해 수행되었음).

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