Louis W. Hodges


(Photo Courtesy mediaethicsmorning.wordpress.com)

My philosopher is Louis W. Hodges. Louis Hodges grew up in Europa, Mississippi (University of Minnesota, 2009). Hodges earned a Bachelors Degree from Duke Divinity School in 1957 and earned his doctorate in in Christian thought, with an emphasis in Christian Ethics from Duke University in 1960 (University of Minnesota, 2009). Louis W. Hodges joined the faculty at Washington & Lee University in 1960 (University of Minnesota, 2009).

After all these accomplishments and degrees Hodges was the founder of Washington & Lee University’s “Society and Professional Program in professional ethics (University of Minnesota, 2009). He also became the first holder of the Knight Chair in journalism ethics (University of Minnesota, 2009). The Knight Chair is a position at Washington & Lee University that “will enable the university to develop a program with emphasis in three areas” (Wesserman, n.d.). The first area is to expand the curriculum for undergraduate students in journalism ethics for Journalism major but also open for all students (Wesserman, n.d.). The second area is increasing professional education in journalism ethics at the school, regional, national and newsrooms around the country (Wesserman, n.d.). The last area is to educate the general public by creating a team of teachers and editors to address issues in journalism ethics (Wesserman, n.d.). Hodges held this position of Knight Chair in the Ethics of Journalism at Washington & Lee University from 1996-2003 (University of Minnesota).

In Media Ethics: Issues and Cases it discusses about Louis W. Hodges philosophy.His philosophy claims that there is a need for privacy in contrast to the right to privacy(Cobb, 2012). He claims that privacy is necessary for people to develop a sense of themselves and also to protect themselves.(Cobb, 2012). This claim of privacy really relates to technology today and how people need there privacy and have the right to privacy (Cobb, 2012). In any form of social media you have the right to make your profile locked or available for the public. This includes your personal information such as location, DOB and siblings. It will lock who your friends, interests and posts. It also restricts you to only a few pictures as well. I think this feature is only really needed on Facebook that really shows your hometown and personal information on your page. Other social media sites such as Twitter and Instagram are just a little description of yourself that most people don’t include personal information in. His theory of need for privacy in contrast to the right of privacy is important because everyone needs privacy and if you need privacy you should have the right to it. If people’s information wasn’t always private you would know so much more about people then you already know.

In another article from Media Ethics it talks about how Hodges talked about he had 3 ways how to deal with a conflict of interest as a journalist. The 3 ways he stated was get out, recuse or disclose (Media Ethics, 2005). The get out method he described was to just avoid any conflict. Don’t write about the news and change beats (Media Ethics, 2005). His second method was recuse. This method is keeping the same story but giving it to another writer (Media Ethics, 2005). They state in the judicial system that judges use the same exact method to avoid conflict in certain cases (Media Ethics, 2005). The last method was disclosure. This method is if the first two steps don’t work and you must let your audience know what the situation is (Media Ethics, 2005). This method helps disclose the conflict at hand and lets you describe what is really going on.


Cobb, M. (2012). Professional Problems & Ethics. Word Press. Retrieved from


Kraft Foundation. (n.d.). Edward Wasserman, Knight Chair in Journalism Ethics.

                 Kraft Foundation. Retrieved from

Media Ethics. (2005). Conflict and the Professional Setting. Media Ethics Magazine. 

Retrieved from http://www.mediaethicsmagazine.com/

University of Minnesota. (2009). Journalism Ethicist Louis W. Hodges will retire in 2003. 

                Silha Center for the study of Media Ethics & Law. Retrieved from


#marceau #Hodges

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