Recent polling indicates that trust in mainstream journalism has reached an all-time low. This talk explores: (1) the nature of trust, especially the anonymous trust needed for the public to trust professionals with whom they have no personal acquaintance; (2) some of the potential explanations for the decline in trust in journalists, with particular focus on the standing of journalism as a profession; (3) some suggestions on ways to increase public trust in journalism.
Terry Kelly earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy from St. Louis University. He specializes in professional ethics and political philosophy. He is currently Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He also serves as vice-chairperson of the Anchorage Municipal Board of Ethics and conducts professional ethics training in Anchorage. His book, Professional Ethics: A Trust-Based Approach is expected to be published in 2017. Recent publications include “Conflicts About Conflict of Interest: A Comparison of ‘Performance’ and ‘Trustworthiness’ Models of COI in the Context of Industry Relations with Physicians,” in the Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics; and “The Good, the Bad, and the Ethical: Regulative Ideals and Role Obligations” (with Stephanie Bauer) in the Proceedings of the University of Alaska Anchorage Ethics Center Convocation.