CUNY Lehman College Duty Base

Mini-Ethics Paper 2: Immanuel Kant

Instructions:

Using Immanuel Kant’s Duty-Based Ethics as your framework, write a mini-paper (no less than 4 pages, no more than 6 pages) explaining your decision to the case below.  Please refer to the notes on Kant’s Duty-Based Ethics in the Week 6 module.

The Case of the Newsroom Affair

Kyle Warren is the managing editor for a major market television station.  You are the news director and he is second-in command of the newsroom (behind you).  Warren is known for his quality and toughness both as a competitive newsperson and as a hard taskmaster within his own newsroom where 35 newspeople work.  Warren is married, although he and his wife appear estranged as she lives in another state and the two rarely communicate.

Recently, it has come to your attention as news director that Warren has a soft spot in what is generally perceived as his tough and cynical exterior.  He has fallen in love with one of the station’s best reporters, Jessica Ladner.  In fact, you have discovered that the two are living together.  Although Ladner is a strong reporter and is popular in the newsroom, your station is blessed with a lot of other reporting talent as well.

Grumblings have surfaced in recent days from some of the other reporters that Warren is showing favoritism to Ladner, in giving her the best assignments.  Sensing a mutiny in the making and wondering if it is the best morale booster for the number-2 person in the newsroom to be living with one of his reporters, you decide to have a chat with Warren.  You think also about talking with Ladner, but you decide to see if you can’t first resolve the dilemma with Warren alone.

Warren is outraged with you.  Despite Warren’s outburst, you decide that you and he would talk overs some of the assignments of recent weeks that he has given to Ladner and some of the other reporters.  After the conversation, you become convinced that, while Ladner has gotten some pretty good stories, other reporters have as well.  Your conclusion is that there is no merit to the rumors of favoritism.

At issue is that fact that Warren and Ladner are living together.  An editor sleeping with one of his reporters.  Your station does not have a policy where co-workers can marry or live together.  However, how ethical is the issue of a superior living with one of his subordinates?  What happens if Warren and Ladner have an argument at home and bring that to work?  What issues need investigating and how will you pursue this situation? what do you do in this case?

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