Media Ethics

Media ethics

Introduction

Journalism refers to the act of collecting and reporting issues to the people. It is meant to give information to the citizens on the things that are happening within their community but they cannot get access to those places and get the information first hand. The area of journalism covers issues related to the government, culture as well as in the business world. This may be presented through the radio, television, magazines or even newspapers (Allan, 2005). This area is very vital to the community and the society because it is the key informative as well as the link between them on what is happening. In other words, journalism is like the translator of the people concerning what is happening. Due to this, there are very vital elements of journalism as a self-governing body. It should be truthful at all times, loyal to the citizens, verification of the information before releasing it to the public must be done, should be independent, must give relevant and interesting information among others.

Journalism and the Public

Despite the fact that media through journalism is a body that should be guided by truth, there has been a lot of claims from the public due to some instances of misreporting as well as false information. Actually many are the times the profession has been likened to the politics, which is a dirty game (Allan, 2005). The public has even reached a point where it does not believe there is something called media ethics any more. This has come up because so many media groups are coming up on a daily basis. As much as this is very good since some of the radio stations involved for instance is in the native language of the community, it should be noted that there is also a disadvantage of this. Actually, this has raised a lot of competition, which then led to the issue of misreporting. Every media house in whichever country, want to be the first one to report on some issues and in the process there comes up some misreports.

Apart from the issue of misreporting, the radio stations have come up with some programs like talk back, whereby, the listeners are given a motion or a topic to deal with. In most cases, some of those debates are very sensitive matters like politics and other issues. It has been reported that some of these programs due to the responses gotten from the people, are very destructive to the society. This is because they have been found to promote vices in the community like racism and tribalism. Apart from that, such programs have been found to be very destructive to the progress of the government (Tony, 2009).  This is because most of the citizens have laid a platform to complain on the failures of the government in some of its programs. In addition, some of those presenter’s personal opinions are very destructive to the government. For instance, when they are seriously opposing some of the issues like the punishments government has imposed on the juveniles.

On the other hand, the government too turns the blame to the radio presenters. This is whereby the government blames the presenters for being very discriminative and very biased on the sides they take as much as some of the most important issues are involved. In such a circumstance, the public is forced to take sides. They are the people whose matters are being discussed and so they have a right to respond or even react on them. In such a circumstance, the public too forms a very negative perception on the media failing to develop a practical ethics for the public to be able to respect those (Tony, 2009).  Therefore, it is very important to know that some of the programs that the media has invented as if the talk back shows are very destructive to the progress of the society or the country especially when they raise the issue of blame game between the media and the government.

 

 

Another problem caused by the talk back programs is the issue of wrong judgments. This is whereby for instance a case involves a police murder of an innocent victim within a particular family. In such a circumstance, through the talk back shows, the public is somehow given a chance to give their opinion. Due to diversity in opinions, so many matters are raised. For some people, it is a chance to blame the government for its carelessness while others take a chance to highlight all the weaknesses of the government (Allan, 2005). In such circumstances, so many people are even out just to tarnish the name of the government. This ends up creating a very wrong image of the government to the indigenous people and even it makes the innocent people’s minds to be greatly poisoned.

The worse thing in such a circumstance above is if the case involves a criminal who is of different race. In such a circumstance, the issue of racism is very much pronounced. This is whereby, through the contribution of the citizens of that particular country, the issue of racism was brought forward. Due to that, later, the issue of promoting antiracism would be very hard even to achieve. Apart from racism, the issue of discrimination, equality and even ethnicity or even culture would be hard to deal with because of the opinions the people have formed after the talk back show (Boeyink, 1995).

Ethics in Journalism

Journalism kike any other profession is guided by some laid down ethics. These ethics are meant to address both the conduct of the employees in the industry as well as the authenticity of the information being released to the people. It is very important for any form of journalism to be very sound. This is why, for instance many people are gaining trust to the telecasted information on the television or the information given through the radio rather than the information that is just disseminated through the newspaper. This because there is at least the issue of accountability in the television and radio since visual and hearing aspects are involved. However, due to the fact, journalism is an industry in which the issue of profit making is involved; some of the ethics are never followed. The employees in the industry are also out to get money or rather to get a salary out of what of they report. They are driven by the fact that they are seeking for job security, better working conditions and most important personal gratification. Due to that, the issue of competition comes up (Boeyink, 1995). This is whereby; the employees are on the move. They leave one media company and get to a new one on daily basis. In some instances, the issues of ethics are overlooked especially where the competition is very stiff.

It should be noted that journalism is like business whereby for it to succeed, there should be great efforts put in. They are therefore out to interest and even catch the attention of the public. They are involved in getting information on what is happening and then publishing or rather disseminating it to the public. Therefore, a journalist for instance may be called by the public and given a very misleading story to release to the public. In such a circumstance, there is a need for investigating to find out what really is happening to give some authentic report. However, there is the aspect of personal privacy whereby, some of the issues are too personal to report. In such a circumstance, there is need to respect the privacy and to ensure that such information is not released. Unfortunately, due to the competition that is taking place in the world of journalism, some of the media houses go over board to report what is being referred to as private information (Boatright, 2002). In such circumstances, the ethics of the journalism profession are not at all followed.

In addition, the use of the new technology to carry out investigations has been blamed really to contribute the matter of unethical practice. This involves the use of technology aids to investigate the information. Some of these materials are very dubious in the way they go about their work, which involve use of cameras. Some of these technological equipments are very deceptive to the receptors in that they end up giving the wrong information. This is why the use of the traditional means of reporting is found to be more ethical.

It should be noted that the issue of ethics in journalism is also affected by the issue of professionalism. This is because; in most cases, the employees are required to deliver work that is of good quality and trust worthy to the employer. There is an order in which the information must be represented. In such cases, where journalism itself entails packaging of the information in a pleasant manner, some aspects of exaggeration and lies so as entice and please the listeners are involved. Therefore, there has come up a culture in the profession whereby the aspect of telling the truth is no longer important (Boatright, 2000). In such circumstances, the issue of ethics in journalism is no longer important.

The worse aspect comes up when journalism becomes part of politics. This then poses a very great danger to the society since these politicians are not governors or even legislators. They are simply facilitators to the development and progress of the society. The media has to be part of the politics because is the channel through which the people receive the information. Therefore, media must ensure that the information it is releasing to the public is very authentic because; the journalism is based on the ethical bases then the great interests of the public will be served (Ian, 2003). With such issues at hand then there is a need for journalism codes.

Journalism codes have been very effective in ensuring that the ethics are followed. This is because, not every media house wants to be ranked with the others especially where there is the issue of a bad name involved. These codes are very important since they empower the practitioners as far as the issue of decision-making is concerned since they act as the guidelines. These codes have the penalties indicated as the consequence of committing a certain ethical crime. These ethics not only apply to the information collection process but also the dissemination process. This is whereby the newsrooms come in and in such circumstance; the news preparer has the ethical right to decide what to disseminate and what to hold back (Ian, 2003). By doing that, the person involved is trying to win the trust of the public as well as to paint a good picture of the media. This is because, some of the information collected could be very much out of ethical grounds.

Conclusion

It is the responsibility of the media to inform the indigenous people whatever that is happening and is concerned with them. In relation to that, it is also the duty of the media to ensure that the information being disseminated to the people is authentic and of great value to them. This is because on the process it may cause harm to the morals of the society as well as paint the wrong picture to the public. That is why the codes and ethics are very important to be followed otherwise the society may be mislead or even given the wrong perception.

References

Allan, S. (2005). Journalism: Critical issues. Norwich: Academic Press.

Boatright, J (2000). Ethics and the conduct of business. Englewood cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Boeyink, D. (1995). Public understanding, professional ethics and the news. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ian, H. (2003). Journalism: Truth or dare. Chicago: University Of Chicago Press.

Tony, H. (2009). Journalism: Principles and practice. Cambridge: University Of Cambridge Press.

 

Media ethics

Introduction

Journalism refers to the act of collecting and reporting issues to the people. It is meant to give information to the citizens on the things that are happening within their community but they cannot get access to those places and get the information first hand. The area of journalism covers issues related to the government, culture as well as in the business world. This may be presented through the radio, television, magazines or even newspapers (Allan, 2005). This area is very vital to the community and the society because it is the key informative as well as the link between them on what is happening. In other words, journalism is like the translator of the people concerning what is happening. Due to this, there are very vital elements of journalism as a self-governing body. It should be truthful at all times, loyal to the citizens, verification of the information before releasing it to the public must be done, should be independent, must give relevant and interesting information among others.

Journalism and the Public

Despite the fact that media through journalism is a body that should be guided by truth, there has been a lot of claims from the public due to some instances of misreporting as well as false information. Actually many are the times the profession has been likened to the politics, which is a dirty game (Allan, 2005). The public has even reached a point where it does not believe there is something called media ethics any more. This has come up because so many media groups are coming up on a daily basis. As much as this is very good since some of the radio stations involved for instance is in the native language of the community, it should be noted that there is also a disadvantage of this. Actually, this has raised a lot of competition, which then led to the issue of misreporting. Every media house in whichever country, want to be the first one to report on some issues and in the process there comes up some misreports.

Apart from the issue of misreporting, the radio stations have come up with some programs like talk back, whereby, the listeners are given a motion or a topic to deal with. In most cases, some of those debates are very sensitive matters like politics and other issues. It has been reported that some of these programs due to the responses gotten from the people, are very destructive to the society. This is because they have been found to promote vices in the community like racism and tribalism. Apart from that, such programs have been found to be very destructive to the progress of the government (Tony, 2009).  This is because most of the citizens have laid a platform to complain on the failures of the government in some of its programs. In addition, some of those presenter’s personal opinions are very destructive to the government. For instance, when they are seriously opposing some of the issues like the punishments government has imposed on the juveniles.

On the other hand, the government too turns the blame to the radio presenters. This is whereby the government blames the presenters for being very discriminative and very biased on the sides they take as much as some of the most important issues are involved. In such a circumstance, the public is forced to take sides. They are the people whose matters are being discussed and so they have a right to respond or even react on them. In such a circumstance, the public too forms a very negative perception on the media failing to develop a practical ethics for the public to be able to respect those (Tony, 2009).  Therefore, it is very important to know that some of the programs that the media has invented as if the talk back shows are very destructive to the progress of the society or the country especially when they raise the issue of blame game between the media and the government.

 

 

Another problem caused by the talk back programs is the issue of wrong judgments. This is whereby for instance a case involves a police murder of an innocent victim within a particular family. In such a circumstance, through the talk back shows, the public is somehow given a chance to give their opinion. Due to diversity in opinions, so many matters are raised. For some people, it is a chance to blame the government for its carelessness while others take a chance to highlight all the weaknesses of the government (Allan, 2005). In such circumstances, so many people are even out just to tarnish the name of the government. This ends up creating a very wrong image of the government to the indigenous people and even it makes the innocent people’s minds to be greatly poisoned.

The worse thing in such a circumstance above is if the case involves a criminal who is of different race. In such a circumstance, the issue of racism is very much pronounced. This is whereby, through the contribution of the citizens of that particular country, the issue of racism was brought forward. Due to that, later, the issue of promoting antiracism would be very hard even to achieve. Apart from racism, the issue of discrimination, equality and even ethnicity or even culture would be hard to deal with because of the opinions the people have formed after the talk back show (Boeyink, 1995).

Ethics in Journalism

Journalism kike any other profession is guided by some laid down ethics. These ethics are meant to address both the conduct of the employees in the industry as well as the authenticity of the information being released to the people. It is very important for any form of journalism to be very sound. This is why, for instance many people are gaining trust to the telecasted information on the television or the information given through the radio rather than the information that is just disseminated through the newspaper. This because there is at least the issue of accountability in the television and radio since visual and hearing aspects are involved. However, due to the fact, journalism is an industry in which the issue of profit making is involved; some of the ethics are never followed. The employees in the industry are also out to get money or rather to get a salary out of what of they report. They are driven by the fact that they are seeking for job security, better working conditions and most important personal gratification. Due to that, the issue of competition comes up (Boeyink, 1995). This is whereby; the employees are on the move. They leave one media company and get to a new one on daily basis. In some instances, the issues of ethics are overlooked especially where the competition is very stiff.

It should be noted that journalism is like business whereby for it to succeed, there should be great efforts put in. They are therefore out to interest and even catch the attention of the public. They are involved in getting information on what is happening and then publishing or rather disseminating it to the public. Therefore, a journalist for instance may be called by the public and given a very misleading story to release to the public. In such a circumstance, there is a need for investigating to find out what really is happening to give some authentic report. However, there is the aspect of personal privacy whereby, some of the issues are too personal to report. In such a circumstance, there is need to respect the privacy and to ensure that such information is not released. Unfortunately, due to the competition that is taking place in the world of journalism, some of the media houses go over board to report what is being referred to as private information (Boatright, 2002). In such circumstances, the ethics of the journalism profession are not at all followed.

In addition, the use of the new technology to carry out investigations has been blamed really to contribute the matter of unethical practice. This involves the use of technology aids to investigate the information. Some of these materials are very dubious in the way they go about their work, which involve use of cameras. Some of these technological equipments are very deceptive to the receptors in that they end up giving the wrong information. This is why the use of the traditional means of reporting is found to be more ethical.

It should be noted that the issue of ethics in journalism is also affected by the issue of professionalism. This is because; in most cases, the employees are required to deliver work that is of good quality and trust worthy to the employer. There is an order in which the information must be represented. In such cases, where journalism itself entails packaging of the information in a pleasant manner, some aspects of exaggeration and lies so as entice and please the listeners are involved. Therefore, there has come up a culture in the profession whereby the aspect of telling the truth is no longer important (Boatright, 2000). In such circumstances, the issue of ethics in journalism is no longer important.

The worse aspect comes up when journalism becomes part of politics. This then poses a very great danger to the society since these politicians are not governors or even legislators. They are simply facilitators to the development and progress of the society. The media has to be part of the politics because is the channel through which the people receive the information. Therefore, media must ensure that the information it is releasing to the public is very authentic because; the journalism is based on the ethical bases then the great interests of the public will be served (Ian, 2003). With such issues at hand then there is a need for journalism codes.

Journalism codes have been very effective in ensuring that the ethics are followed. This is because, not every media house wants to be ranked with the others especially where there is the issue of a bad name involved. These codes are very important since they empower the practitioners as far as the issue of decision-making is concerned since they act as the guidelines. These codes have the penalties indicated as the consequence of committing a certain ethical crime. These ethics not only apply to the information collection process but also the dissemination process. This is whereby the newsrooms come in and in such circumstance; the news preparer has the ethical right to decide what to disseminate and what to hold back (Ian, 2003). By doing that, the person involved is trying to win the trust of the public as well as to paint a good picture of the media. This is because, some of the information collected could be very much out of ethical grounds.

Conclusion

It is the responsibility of the media to inform the indigenous people whatever that is happening and is concerned with them. In relation to that, it is also the duty of the media to ensure that the information being disseminated to the people is authentic and of great value to them. This is because on the process it may cause harm to the morals of the society as well as paint the wrong picture to the public. That is why the codes and ethics are very important to be followed otherwise the society may be mislead or even given the wrong perception.

References

Allan, S. (2005). Journalism: Critical issues. Norwich: Academic Press.

Boatright, J (2000). Ethics and the conduct of business. Englewood cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Boeyink, D. (1995). Public understanding, professional ethics and the news. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ian, H. (2003). Journalism: Truth or dare. Chicago: University Of Chicago Press.

Tony, H. (2009). Journalism: Principles and practice. Cambridge: University Of Cambridge Press.