Teaching Case - A Duty to Infuriate

A Duty to Infuriate


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  • Product Description

    In 1992 an Associated Press journalist in Amsterdam is assigned to write a feature article on drug policy in the Netherlands. He has been asked to write similar articles in the past, and has always been expected to convey the message that the Dutch experiment in tolerating private drug use has failed. His personal assessment is that drug policy in the Netherlands is more sensible and effective than the Bush Administration's War on Drugs. While conducting interviews for his article, the journalist learns that representatives from 17 cities in Europe have recently met and agreed to lobby the European Union for more liberal drug laws, on the Dutch model. This development provides an opportunity to change the focus of his article. At first his editors urge him to balance his report by including the opposing viewpoint, but eventually they acquiesce. When the story appears, it is not picked up by any of the AP's top users.

    Learning Objective:
    The case provides a vehicle for discussing alternative conceptions of the social responsibilities of journalists, as well as ideas of objectivity in reporting.

  • Other Details

    Publication Date: September 01, 1998
    HKS Case Number: 1457.0
    Case Author: Jerome Socolovsky
    Faculty Lead: Kenneth Winston
    Pages (incl. exhibits): 5
    Setting: United States
    Language: English
    _year: Older than 2000
    _pages: 1-15
    _geography: US & Canada
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