Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ethical code of Ethics?

Hannah Croft

I feel like having a code of ethics in itself is kind of a conundrum. If you’re following a code of ethics doesn’t that, in itself, deny ethics? If you’re following the rules just to follow the rules, then that’s not ethics, but doing what you have to in order to avoid punishment. I think it’s good to have something to refer back to, but when, like in the intro of this weeks reading, SPJ talked about having punishments for unethical behavior, that doesn’t breed ethical work, but makes it so that writers just do that to follow the law.

Those who don’t have a code of ethics, like Perez Hilton, run into some issues though. I mean, obviously, a celebrity gossip website isn’t going to breed the most ethical journalism, but when Perez Hilton started advocating for for the anti-bullying movement, many considered this to be a bit hypocritical. So, Perez vowed to shape up, and his posts have become, at the very least, a little less invasive.
I found this story which talks about Perez turning over a new leaf.

One of my favorite websites in the world poses some major ethical questions, postsecret.com. I doubt that the owner of postsecret has an ethical code he refers back to, but he nonetheless makes very serious moral decisions every week when he posts certain secrets that could pose some very tough questions. He has to think about people who may be offended or if a secret is actually too personal. I think he makes excellent decisions each week, and has actually allowed his cite to become an advocate for suicide helplines.

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