Communitarian Ethics and Poverty Coverage

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


For news coverage of poverty, communitarian ethics is a distinctive framework for both journalistic practice and academic theorizing. The Latin American tradition of communalism develops the issues for poverty coverage with special authenticity. The Brazilian Paulo Freire’s theory of culture, centered on the uniquely human, emphasizes campesinos; the Peruvian Gustavo Gutiérrez applies the human dignity concept to poverty. Communitarian ethics, with dignity as its theoretical perspective, leads to a different set of journalism priorities than those based on mainstream liberalism: communal values rather than individual autonomy, emphasis on root causes rather than dramatic episodes, a refusal to reduce poverty to its administrative aspects and making the news media’s facilitative role primary and the monitorial role secondary. The philosophy of journalism developed here that is appropriate to poverty coverage calls for resources to fulfill the facilitative agenda through narrative journalism and community media. Human dignity is not an abstract theorem in this chapter but is ubiquitous throughout its different levels of analysis.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Media and Poverty
EditorsSandra Borden
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780429291333
ISBN (Print)9780367260729
StatePublished - Jul 20 2021

Publication series

NameRoutledge Media and Cultural Studies Companions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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