Given my last post, I thought it would be a good idea to talk journalistic ethics.
Let’s begin, shall we? What does this mean?
There are a lot of definitions out there and they get pretty lengthy. Here is what the Society of Professional Journalists has to say about ethics. It’s a pretty interesting read, if you’re into that kind of thing.
Well, journalists are more than writers. They are gatekeepers. They have people’s personal, professional information and they have the power to expose some of the darkest secrets in the world. This position of power that some journalists find themselves in (depending on the subject of their writing) can be good and can be bad.
On the one hand journalists have a responsibility to expose and report the truth and the news to eager citizens. A great example of this, of course, is the infamous Watergate Scandal.
On the other hand, journalists are required, to a certain, extent to protect and respect the private citizen’s privacy.
That’s just Journalism 101!
More importantly though journalists have a responsibility to the people that watch or read the news. Journalists have a responsibility to report the news and educate the American public what is going on in this world.
Think of journalists as informal, short-term educators that teach solely about current events.
Unfortunately, more and more the real news slips through the cracks and journalist opinion and society fluff fills the voids.
Is this ethical?
I don’t believe it is. I believe it degrades the news, our education and the journalistic profession.
What are your thoughts?
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