2013 Thomas J. Masterson Ethics Essay Competition Winners

In alpha order:
  • Amaranta Prieto Aguilar
  • Julie Anderson
  • Hannah Johnson
  • Brianna McCarthy
  • Brian Nickel
  • Christopher Petersen
  • Wiliam Romov
  • Tess Rosenthal
  • & Kelly Starry 

DOOMED: Ethics and Subway Journalism.”  This was the title of a current ethical news story that appeared in the New York Post.  There were 60 participants who competed for a chance at a $5,000 scholarship.  A total of ten (10) scholarships were being awarded, totaling $12,500.  Participants had to submit a cover sheet and a Case Analysis Essay.   The essay was a compelling business ethics-related news story, titled "Doomed: Ethics and Subway Journalism." For the first time in this competition, participants had to apply the ethical reasoning framework that surrounds the newly developed JMU Eight Key Questions.

“DOOMED” was a news story about a photojournalist (R. Umar Abbasi), who watched a man being pushed onto a New York City subway track. Instead of attempting to help the man off of the tracks, he chooses to snap photos of the scene to – in his words – try to alert (with his camera flash) the subway driver of the situation. Others standing nearby also do not attempt to lift the man off of the tracks (instead choosing to frantically wave at the subway driver). The New York Post then uses one of Mr. Abbasi’s photos as the cover photo with the following headline: “DOOMED: Pushed on the subway track, this man is about to die.”

The essay focused on the following key elements:

a) Provided a clear statement of the ethical situation(s) or dilemma(s) in this case.
b) Identified the primary stakeholders in this case and how they were affected (e.g., how benefiting; how harmed).
c)  Analyzed the business-related issues pertinent to this case.
d) Analyzed the ethical dilemma(s) using the newly developed “JMU Eight Key Questions”

Once the 60 were narrowed down to the top 10, each individual of the top 10 had to write a personal statement recounting and discussing an occasion in their life when they faced an ethical dilemma and what they learned from it.  The individuals had to describe the ethical situation or dilemma, explain why it was an important event in their life, explain what they learned from it and had to analyze it with at least four (4) of the JMU Eight Key Questions

Published: Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Last Updated: Thursday, August 11, 2016

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