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Media Ethics Expert Bob Steele '69 Weighs In on Nightline Debate

April 30, 2004

April 30, 2004, Greencastle, Ind. - A nationally-distributed Associated Press story that examines the controversy over tonight's broadcast of Nightline includes the analysis of a DePauw University alumnus. The article, by Frazier Moore, notes that several media analysts believe ABC's decision to dedicate the program to reading the names and showing the photos of all U.S. troops killed in Iraq is an anti-war statement. "But even to approach the war as a pro-or-con matter is to oversimplify it, argued Bob Steele, director of the ethics program for the Poynter Institute for Media Studies," writes Frazier. Steele is a 1969 graduate of DePauw.

"The issue of war is not unlike the issue of abortion, immigration or capital punishment: There are multiple sides to it," Steele says. "What Life magazine did [which filled a 1969 issue with the names and photos of soldiers who had been killed in Vietnam over the prior week] was give us a very compelling composite portrait of one side of the horrors of war. To some degree, that's what Nightline is doing: telling us one element of the horror of war, and that's the loss of life."

Read the complete story by clicking here.

Learn more about Bob Steele, Nelson Poynter Scholar for Journalism Values and Senior Ethics Faculty at Poynter, here.

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