Becoming Junzi: A Confucian Approach to Journalism Ethics


Emerging Media



Document Type

Book Chapter


DOI: 10.4324/9780429262708-6


This chapter examines a Confucian approach to journalism ethics, introducing the Confucian ideals of junzi (the gentleman 君子) and he (harmony 和), the concept of xiuji (self-cultivation 修己), and the communal focus in Confucian ethics. By applying these concepts to journalism, a new perspective on journalism ethics is offered, differing in many aspects from the Western model. It begins by arguing that the Confucian ideal of junzi embodies the notion of morally excellent journalism and journalists, and that the principle of he can be a powerful universal value for journalism. It demonstrates that within this Confucian framework, the monitorial and development roles of journalism can unite. Compared to ethics training that centers on decision-making, this chapter introduces Confucian moral self-cultivation as an engaging humanistic approach to ethics education and a pathway to become junzi. Finally, the chapter highlights the shared responsibility of journalism as a community in refining communal values, building its moral character, and making the profession a morally excellent place to be.

Published in

Routledge Companion to Journalism Ethics

Citation/Other Information

Feng, Y. (2021). Becoming Junzi: A Confucian Approach to Journalism Ethics. In Routledge Companion to Journalism Ethics (pp. 36-44). https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429262708-6