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30 minutes
  • Journalism
  • Media Ethics
  • National Security
  • 7-12
  • College/University

  1. Pass out copies of the case study and have students discuss it in small groups. Tell the groups they should attempt to come to a consensus about which of the multiple choice options they think is the best. They may come up with another position.
  2. Ask the groups to share out their choice and reasoning. Use the questions to guide the discussion.

  • The Ambassador's Journal handout (download), one per student or small group

  • What overarching morals or values might be taken into account for each option?
  • Was it OK to remove the diary from what some government officials called a “crime scene”? Does it matter that the building was largely unsecured, allowing the reporter to enter it?
  • If you were the network, how might you justify publishing the contents of the journal against the family’s wishes?
  • Why might the government try to prevent the network from publishing the contents of the journal?
  • Does the nature of the ambassador’s death make a difference in the decision to publish the diary?
  • Does the public have a right to know of the ambassador’s security concerns and how such concerns may have been a factor in his death?
  • Is privacy of the deceased ambassador and/or his family an issue? Explain.
  • What are some political consequences of publishing the concerns expressed in the diary? Should they be taken into account when deciding to publish or not? 

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