Today, The Don W. Davis Program at Penn State’s Bellisario College of Communications announced the recipient of the 2019 inaugural Penn State Davis Ethics Award: Anita Varma, Stanford University. The Penn State Davis Ethics Award is a national competition intended to recognize the best ethics-related dissertation successfully defended each year in the fields of communication and media. Varma is currently Ethics Center program manager, Business, Leadership, and Social Sector Ethics and Journalism & Media Ethics.
Varma’s dissertation, “Solidarity in Action: A Case Study of Journalistic Humanizing Techniques in the San Francisco Homeless Project,” explicates the concept of solidarity as a normative frame for journalistic narrative, and analyzes a community-wide, collaborative news project on homelessness in the Bay Area.
“Anita’s scholarship offers an important contribution to the fields of journalism studies and applied ethics,” said Patrick Lee Plaisance, the Don W. Davis Professor of Ethics. “She calls on all of us in journalism to think more deeply about our efforts to humanize marginalized populations and how to avoid contributing to ‘empathy fatigue’ when we do so.”
The award provides a $1,000 honorarium, travel support to present their scholarship in a session of the Media Ethics Division at the 2019 AEJMC annual conference, and a fully supported guest-lecture visit to Penn State’s Bellisario College of Communications.
(Source: Press Release --Penn State Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications)