Truth peaks out from behind the curtain
In 1952, the Reader's Digest magazine published an article called "Cancer by the Cartoon." This article told readers that smoking is indeed dangerous and should be taken seriously. The article showed readers how the effects of smoking are not a myth, and that they can kill. Of course the tobacco industry was in a deep hole, and it would need to do something about it to get out of that hole.
As a witty solution, the tobacco industry association created the Tobacco Research Council. This group of people merely looked for ways to fight studies on the negative, life-threatening effects of smoking instead of actually "researching" as it claimed. After this article from Reader's Digest, news outlets and reporters began writing about these negative effects of smoking and how dangerous it truly is to our health, informing the public of the facts they found to be true.
Where do we draw the line?
Journalism is distinguished by the characteristic, “Truth and accuracy above all,” as stated in the RTDNA’s Code of Ethics. I think there should be more advertisements for anti-smoking as there have been recently. This kind of journalism connects strongly to the emotions we have.
The Real Cost has posted these videos to YouTube and ran them as advertisements on live television. I believe in these kind of public service announcements or PSA's. But they are not only that, they are digging deeper into the news. Personally, I believe that we as journalists and public relations professionals need to keep this in mind while pursuing our careers. Whether it's frightening or not, the people deserve the truth. Let's give it to them.