Date of Defense




First Advisor

Sue Ellen Christian, Communication

Second Advisor

Michael J. Ciokajlo, Communication


The primary goal of journalism is to report the truth, a delicate and demanding process. It requires a continual negotiation of ethics, recognition of potential biases, and balancing of personal standards with professional expectations. Journalists must learn to identify not only when others are deceiving them, but also when their own preconceived notions, personal ideals, or emotions are swaying them to report anything less than the entire, objective truth. Even so, the line between reporting and advocating becomes blurred when such mental deterrents are strong enough to potentially overshadow professional ethics. These ethics of objectivity and accuracy are the foundation of journalism, a discipline that is distinguished by its reliable and honest nature. This paper explores the experience of writing and investigative story that required constant analysis and negotiation of what to do with the strong opinions, expectations of advocacy, and emotional involvement that accompanied the investigating process. The objective is to prove that, although journalists are taught that there is no room for opinions or emotional attachments in their field, meticulous application of the journalistic principles of independence, sensitivity, comprehensiveness, fairness, and verification enable a final produce that is not only accurate but all-inclusive, thorough, passionate, and effective.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only