Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Money and the Media

Ashley Driscoll

It is hard to deny that our society revolves around money. Money can help make life a lot easier, but it can also be the center of many problems. Some people allow money to blind them from deciphering what is right between what is wrong. This is an issue that is especially prevalent in the media.

Anyone who pays attention to the media sees that people in the media are constantly covering scandals. However, some people may not realize how many scandals there actually are within the journalism and media field.

The journalism field is one that is fast paced and run by deadlines. This stress could cause a journalist to make decisions without thinking clearly, especially when there is the incentive to make some money on the side.

It seems obvious that any story being published should be ethical and truthful. Unfortunately, some journalists don’t see this as a vital requirement for their work. They consume themselves with trying to get a great story, and forget that they should be following the code of ethics.

As a journalist, you have to ask yourself: “What is more important; a trustworthy reputation or a great story that will shock the public?”

The answer to this question is simple. If you work hard to get your information in an ethical way, the story will shine on its own without the help of bribery and scandals.

Anthony France Scandal

There are multiple instances in the media where journalists made the poor decision to bribe public officials for money. There has recently been a bribery scandal in the U.K. Crime reporter, Anthony France, has been convicted of bribing public officials in order to get a better story.

Photo Courtesy of dailymail.co.uk

France worked at one of Britain’s best-selling newspapers, The Sun. According to The Wall Street Journal, for three years France bribed an officer with copious amounts of money in order to receive confidential information about crime cases.

If we’re getting specific, Anthony France bribed the officer about $30,600 in exchange for this top-secret information. I’m sure everyone who hears about this exchange realizes what a reckless idea this was.

Not only was France giving away thousands of dollars for confidential information, he also threw away his reputable career as a journalist. If the public does not trust a source, then that source has no future in the journalism field. Unfortunately, France is not the only case where bribery scandals have occurred. In some cases, the bribery works the opposite way.

Walter Cronkite Scandal 

Walter Cronkite  was involved in a career ending bribery scandal, but it was opposite of France's scandal. Cronkite accepted money from drug manufacturing companies. These companies wanted to buy credibility, and the best way to do that was pay off one of journalism's most reputable journalists in the business, Walter Cronkite. Unfortunately, this master-plan backfired and cost Cronkite his trustworthy reputation along with his career.

It seems obvious that no matter how desperate a journalist is, he or she should always remain ethical. Apparently, it is much more difficult than it seems. It can take years to build up a reputable career as a professional journalist, but only one mistake can take all of that away.

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