Journalism Ethics

By mcain Writing Tips 1 Comment on Journalism Ethics

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?

Follow me @Miranda_Cain.


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One comment
  • Jack Durish
    Posted on October 21, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    This is a great time to be discussing ethics in journalism. We have seen unethical journalism exposed in so many ways recently. Major media outlets including the New York Times and broadcast networks are hiding news of the security issues at the American embassy in Benghazi purportedly to cover for their ideological favorites in politics. Candy Crowder’s infamous interference in the recent Presidential debate is embarrassing in its blatancy. Suddenly, even those who wanted to avert their eyes from such unethical behavior are forced to witness it. It is estimated that if the media practiced ethical journalism, the polls would be showing far different results. As it is, they show that people are reluctantly changing their preferences as the election draws nearer. Romney may win not by becoming more popular, but as a result of voters walking away from Obama. I am more inclined to wonder if much of the problems that we face today, especially those that began before Obama was elected, might have been avoided had ethical journalism been practiced and people made aware of the political shenanigans that got us into these fixes.

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