Cautious morality: public accountability, moral order and accounting for a conflict of interest

2013-02-08T14:31:33Z (GMT) by Cristian Tileaga
This article draws upon discursive psychology to explore the organization of public accountability in accounting for an alleged conflict of interest in journalism. The analysis focuses on the published record of an interview given by the editorial director of one of the major Romanian daily newspapers on the issue of an assumed conflict of interest involving a senior editor of the same newspaper. The analysis shows how a moral order is constituted by the use of various discursive resources: role and professional incumbency discourse, disposition avowals and doing being fair/ democratic. This is a moral order where adherence to personal ethical principles, professional incumbencies and responsibilities are practically managed in dialogue and publicly displayed. Acting in-role, reporting a general disposition to engage in moral courses of action and making reference to the values of citizenship and democracy are all publicly available discursive resources used in this context to express a cautious moral judgement bounded and constrained by both personal and professional accountability perspectives.