Tom Brislin's Publications

"What the Media Taught Me About Ethics," Media Ethics 26:1 (Fall 2014)

"Kids and Crime: A Comparative Study of Youth Coverage in Japan and the U.S.," with Yasuhiro Inoue, Journal of Mass Media Ethics, 24:1 (2007), 3-17

Abstract: This pilot study examines how a number of American and Japanese journalists make the tough calls regarding an escalating social problem: whether to identify juveniles who have been charged with serious capital crimes. Divergent societal and journalistic values of the two countries are explored via a survey of journalists from Honolulu and Hiroshima. Versions in Japanese:
"Nichi-bei janarisuto no shonen hanzai houdou ni taisuru ishikisa to sono youinno kousatsu" (Difference in Japanese and American journalists opinions about juvenile crime) with Yasuhiro Inoue, Hiroshima Journal of International Studies, 11 (2005), 179-194.

"Jitsumei tokumei no handanni kenchona sa: Shounen hanzai houdou ni taisuru nitibei kisha ishikino hikaku chosa kara" (Significant differences between naming and not-naming decisions: Comparative survey of Japan-US journalists' opinions about juvenile crime coverage), with Yasuhiro Inoue, Shimbun Kenkyu (Newspaper Research): Nihon Shinbun Kyokai. No. 646, (May 2005), 44-48.

"Globalization Brings Opportunities to Re-evaluate the Press Club System of Journalism in Japan," Doshisha Journal of Media & Communication Research. No. 2 (March 2005). 260-268.

Abstract: Globalization, with its powercul political and economic impacts and attendant innovations in media technology, has increased the appetite for global news and is changing the landscape of international journalism. As much of international journalism is "reporting on what the local press is reporting on," it is is essential for journalists to have a foundational knowledge of the journalistic ethics, values and practices of the country they are reporting on. The kisha kurabu or press club system of Japan is a case in point, and is at the point of discussions of journalistic reform.

"Empowerment as a Universal Ethic in Global Journalism," Journal of Mass Media Ethics. 19:2 (2004) 130-137

Abstract: Globalization has churned up in its wake a reevaluation of standards in numerous enterprises, including journalism. The search for a universal journalism ethic, however, has often ended with the attempt to import traditional and underlying Western "free press" values, such as objectivity and an adversarial platform, forged in Enlightenment philosophy. Globalization has produced several major paradigm shifts in world societies, not the least of which is increasing degrees of autonomy of both the individual and the citizenry to encourase a wider participation in both the governing and economic process. This suggests that new focal point of journalism ethics should be empowerment - the degree to which a society's journalism is designed to empower the citizenry for its own betterment rather than the degree to which it creatives a passive audience of consumerism.

"Anti-Semitic Articles and Books Not Uncommon in Japan," Japan Media Review (University of Southern California: 9/26/2003).

Abstract With only about 2,000 Jews living in Japan, the Japanese have little firsthand experience with Jewish culture, but they have a great interest in books and articles on the subject. Whole sections of bookstores are devoted to books on Jews -- many of them anti-Semitic.

"Exotics, Erotics and Coco-Nuts: Pacific Islanders in the Media," chapter in Images That Injure: Pictorial Stereotypes in the Media. 2nd ed. Eds: Paul Martin Lester and Susan Ross. (Westport, CN: Praeger, 2003) 103-111.

Abstract: From Bird of Paradise on the 1932 movie screen to Byrds of Paradise on 1994 TV screens, the Pacific Islands and their people have provided a colorful backdrop to the adventures and exploits of visitors from the Western world. Outise of a few documentaries, and fewer but a growing number of locally made Pacific productions, there have been no attempts to portray the rich textures and structures of Pacific societies and cultures. They have existed only as aberrations of, or adopted adjuncts to, a Western world view of life as it should be.

"Case Studies by Numbers: Journalism Ethics Learning," Journal of Mass Media Ethics. 12:4(1997), 221-226. Also, Guest Editor for this Special Issue on Teaching Media Ethics.

Abstract: This study is a quick take on how pedagogical research and journalism ethics case study methodology can be combined with a creative formulation and applied to the classroom. The result is a more active, engaging, and meaningful experience for students as they are able to build relations between and among journalistic values in case studies of their own creation.

"Beyond Diversity: Expanding the Canon in Journalism Ethics," with N. Williams, Journal of Mass Media Ethics. 11:1 (1996), 3-21.

Abstract: Diversity has become a watchword in American journalism as newspapers and TV stations strive to staff their newsrooms with more women and minority journalists. But diversity must be thought of as more than numbers. "Newsroom culture" will change as it becomes more infused with this "new wave" of journalists who bring different backgrounds, perspectives and values to the news mix. The new wave of diverse journalists are, in fact, in our classrooms today. Ethics courses preparing journalists for the 21st century need to locate and articulate diverse philosophies to expand the traditional canon and to immerse students in experiences that provide practical applications of diversity to daily journalism.

"Weep Into Silence/Cries of Rage: Bitter Divisions in Hawaii's Japanese Press," Journalism Monographs 154, (December 1995).

Abstract: No issue divided Hawaii's pre-war American and Japanese Communities so completely and bitterly as the territorial government's moves in the 1920s to regulate and eliminate the islands' Japanese Language Schools.
The resulting bitterness toward the American community spilled over and split the Japanese community, played out in full rancor in the Japanese-language press. Conservative and activist editors battled over whether to buckle under or rail against racism in the cloak of "Americanization."
Fred Kinzaburo Makino was the lone editor to take on the government, English- language press and even his compatriots in the Japanese press, including one-time ally Yasutaro Soga.
Makino prevailed when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the "Alien School Laws" unconstitutional. But the Makino-Soga rift would never heal.
The Language School battle focused the essential differences between the two Japanese press leaders and reflected the divisions and struggles for identity within Hawaii's Japanese community.

"Extra!: The Comic Book Journalist Survives the Censors of 1955," Journalism History 21:4 (1995), 122-130.

Abstract:Adventure, romance, foreign intrigue - and an appetite for fistfights and nicotine: These ingredients helped shape the image of journalists and journalism for comic book readers in the 1950s. Although several studies have analyzed the journalistic image in popular media such as film and television, the comic book journalist has received scant attention.
EXTRA!, published by Entertaining Comics in 1955, was journalism's closest brush with - and most descriptive portrayal in - the comic book. Fittingly, it grew out of the comic book's closest brush with the First Amendment. EXTRA! was born in response to the wave of industry self-censorship that followed social - and congressional - investigations into a link between comic books and juvenile delinquency.
This study examines the short life of EXTRA! in the industry's censorship upheaval in the mid-1950s and in its portrayal of the newsroom, "newshounds" and "newshens," most often as enigmatic adventurers drawn into international intrigue.

"Comparative Value Hierarchies between U.S. and Chinese Journalists," Media Ethics. 7:2 (1996), 6, 23-24.

Abstract: Exploring the comparative value dimensions of American and foreign journalists can be a useful practical as well as academic study as increasing amounts of news come from an increasing diversity of national, cultural, and value bases. This ongoing study is a brief, initial tilling, with a decidedly limited sample, of what should be a fertile field of international communication research. It looks at possible value hierarchies between U.S. and Chinese journalists.

"Ethics and the Rush of Cyberspace," APME News 213 (July/August 1995), 15, 22.

Abstract:Editors would do well to tap into the discussion of journalism ethics on the Internet. Discussions that might be muffled in newsrooms are engaged in full volume through discussion lists, bulletin boards, and chat room.

"ABCs of Active Learning in Applied Ethics Instruction," Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 6:3 (1996): In Press).

Abstract: Injecting "Active Learning" strategies into Ethics courses is as easy as - in the words of the Jackson 5 - "ABC/1-2-3." This article discusses a method successfully used in teaching Journalism Ethics that can be easily adapted to any field dealing with professional or applied ethics.

"Facts Via Fax: Electronic Launch for First Japanese-Language Edition of a U.S. Newspaper," International Communication Bulletin, 27:3/4 (1992), 5-8.

Abstract: A study of an attempt by the Honolulu Star- Bulletin to produce a Japanese-language fax edition, designed primarily for the sizeable Jpanese business community in Hawaii and for Hawaii business interests in Japan. There is also a "secondary circulation" from Hawaii-based Japanese business representatives re- faxing the condensed paper to superiors in various Tokyo and Osaka corporate headquarters.

"Just Journalism: A Framework for Moral Debate," Journal of Mass Media Ethics, VII:4 (1992), 209-219.

Abstract: There is no shortage of cliches in the journalism-as-war metaphor. Reporters work "in the trenches," "fight the good fight" and regale each other with "war stories." here is a higher-order analogy between these two human endeavors as well: the process of justifying extreme action and conducting that action in ways that minimize unintended harm.
The "Just War Doctrine" has existed for centuries as a set of criteria that must be met before the extreme action of war can be morally undertaken. The doctrine also sets the moral boundaries within which, once declared, war can be fought.
Journalism finds itself in crises of extremes as well. Though not on the level of global warfare, some journalistic actions can be deemed "extreme" for their potential of inflicting great harm - to individuals, a community and to the profession itself. The Just War Doctrine holds value as a model for framing the journalistic ethics decision-making process - particularly in cases of extreme actions.

"Mirror, Mirror on the Page: Is There Gender Reflection in Writing?" Academic Literacies in Multicultural Higher Education: Selected Essays. Eds: Thomas Hilgers, Marie Wunsch, Virgie Chattergy (Univ. of Hawaii, 1992), pp. 79-86.

Abstract:Do men and women students approach writing differently? Do they "play on an even playing field" when evaluated for their writing strengths and quality? Is there a perceived "maleness" or "femaleness" in writing style? This study suggests the answer is "no."

Compiled and prepared Appendix materials for Restructuring for Ethnic Peace: A Public Debate at the University of Hawaii, ed. Majid Tehranian (Spark Matsunaga Institute for Peace, 1991), pp. 173-184.

"Film as Weapon: The New Revolutionary," University Film Association Journal 23:1 (1971), 18-20


Articles/Publications about Teaching/Educational Innovation

College Focus Program, College of Social Sciences, University of Hawaii:

"Smile: You're on Collaborative Camera! Students Learn Diversity Through Their Own Images," Teaching & Learning 8:2 (Center for Teaching Excellence, UH: Spring/Summer 1995).

"A Teaching and Learning Strategy from UH Classroom," Teaching & Learning 7:1 (Center for Teaching Excellence, UH: Fall/Winter 1993).

"Creating a Climate for Critical Thinking in the Classroom," Teaching & Learning 8 (accepted)


Book and Editorial Reviews/Commentary

"New Editions, Continuing Struggles," book review essay, Journal of Mass Media Ethics, 15:4 (2002), 280-282.

"Are Actions of Journalists on the Job Public?" in Cases and Commentaries, Journal of Mass Media Ethics, 15:2 (2002) 135-136.

"Food Lion vs ABC as an Online Teaching Tool," Media Ethics, 8:2 (1997), 6, 17.

John Merrill. Legacy of Wisdom: Great Thinkers and Journalism (1994), in Journal of Mass Media Ethics, 10:1(1995), 49-51.

John Chancellor and Walter Mears, The NEW News Business, in Journalism Quarterly 72:3, 1995, 740-742.

Member, editorial board, Journal of Mass Media Ethics

Contributing Editor, Media Ethics

Reader/Reviewer, University of Hawaii Press