Monday, April 18, 2011
Fighting for honor in journalism
After reading Moral Reasoning for Journalists by Knowlton and Reader, I found that media has been put in a difficult situation and maybe for the years to come.
According to the authors “media bashing has become a lucrative industry and insidious political tactic.” (1). It just seems that more recently these days that if something is wrong it is the media's fault in some way.
The authors also discuss the main reasons that critics think have caused “the sorry states of the new business.” (4)
A couple of these causes include money, tabloid journalism, and political bias.
We have discussed this in class many times thus far that money can be rooted in many of the ethical decisions being made. It could be deadlines or the need to move up the career ladder, that might drive a journalist to make the wrong ethical decision. With the current economic crisis still lurking in journalism, it is interesting to wonder how a lack of funds and profits might be affecting ethical decision right this very second.
Tabloid journalism has been a popular sensation for centuries according to Knowlton and Reader. I think the most important ethical aspect is the blur between what is news and entertainment and how this disconnect could cause a bad reputation for journalists. Don’t get me wrong I really do enjoy the gossip of People and Glamour magazine, but I really wonder how ethics play a roll in magnifying the life of celebrities? When is protruding into someone's love life or family situation too much? Where do they draw the line?
Political bias has long been apart of journalism, and we have been taught to look for and identify the polarized political commentary being distributed by major news stations. This goes to the point where some people don’t even think about it anymore. There are two different issues I have found interesting in regards to this field of criticism. One is that political campaigns have become abundant and when do we cross the line? How ethical is it to let candidates bash on each other on a public forum?
The next thing is the big issue that has come up with NPR and how its journalists are defending themselves in light of recent allegations. It would be interesting to discuss this topic further and understand the ethics behind it.
I agree with the authors in the end that there must be a discussion on what is right and wrong in journalism and really understand how professional journalists make these moral decisions. Because looking from my standpoint it is hard to separate the criticism and ethical questions being thrown around.