Thursday, May 21, 2009

We're All Human

By Alivia Nuzzo

In the 1994 film, "The Paper," several ethical dilemmas are brought to the surface through a comical cast who play the role of a New York City newsroom staff. While the movie may have been created with the intention of entertaining an audience, using exaggeration and ridiculous scenes for constant laughs, reality proves that several newsrooms are full of dynamics like the ones shown, fusing together an array of different personalities and characters that inevitably make ethical matters more complex than any code of ethics could ever predict.

Being the species of human beings that we are, sometimes people don't always think with a clear mind; sometimes, even in a professional setting, we let emotions get the best of us, no matter how hard we try to avoid situations like the ones presented in the movie.

In any given situation where a co-worker or situation drives us to become angry or frustrated, we as humans will undoubtedly use rather inappropriate language or physical tantrums to express that anger. In a climactic scene featuring Henry and the editor of "The Sentinel," the reporter uses language that may otherwise be inappropriate in a professional setting. But, sometimes the rules don't apply.

Other times, we allow pride to become part of the mix in our professions. While Alicia is a legitimately experienced reporter, she is constantly seeking a boost in salary and using her position as managing editor as a power tool to fight off other employees, namely Henry.

And while we may be the best professionals out there, matters of our personal lives sometimes inevitably overlap with the life we lead at work. In the movie, this was apparent in Bernie's poor health condition or in Marty's pregnancy.

While we should always act with integrity and professionalism, sometimes the toughest ethical decisions must be made in a second's time. Sometimes, we make the right decision. And sometimes, we make mistakes. At the end of the day, whether right or wrong, we're still only human.

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