The morals that shape the news: A study of Aotearoa New Zealand’s newsrooms

  • Federico Magrin Journalist, Stuff
Keywords: code of ethics, balance, fairness, journalism, journalistic field, liberal political philosophy, moral values, newsroom leader, New Zealand, objectivity


This article explores the personal interpretation of the moral world Aotearoa New Zealand newsroom leaders are guided by when shaping the news, or, in other words, it poses the question: Do personal moral values play a role in Aotearoa New Zealand newsroom? In this study, we examine whether newsroom leaders view morals as a driver in news-shaping, or whether the news values of objectivity, accuracy and fairness prevail over personal morals when it comes to informing the news. The research was conducted by interviewing six newsroom leaders from different media companies in Aotearoa New Zealand and the interview data were analysed within the theoretical and philosophical framework adopted from Lakoff (2002). The research suggests that working professionals in the media industry were not able to discern where their morals ended and where the professional news values started. Furthermore, the interviewees affiliated with public service media responded that upholding moral values would not have a financial impact on the news media organisation, whereas those affiliated with private media responded that it would.


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How to Cite
Magrin, F. (2024). The morals that shape the news: A study of Aotearoa New Zealand’s newsrooms. Pacific Journalism Review : Te Koakoa, 30(1and2), 126-138.