Every day there are ethical decisions that impact the hundreds or thousands of people who watch, read, listen, and/or click on a media source. The foundation for making the right decision starts with ethics classes in college. Students in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism will use this blog to reflect on ethical questions in the media today.
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Time For Some Change
Alexandria Keller email@example.com
With today's constant technological improvement, everyone is
becoming a journalist. According to Pew Research writers Monica Anderson and Andrea
Caumont’s in an online article How Social Media Is Reshaping News, “half of social network site
users have shared news stories, images or videos, and
nearly as many (46%) have discussed a news issue or event”. This new ability to snap pictures
of college protests, catch videos of police being aggressive, or even tweet
about a school shootings, have allowed people to become part of the media and add
to their portfolio as a journalist.
Due to this new activism of the public in news, it is necessary
for not just the legitimate writers, but also the readers to know what is
ethical and what is not. In order for journalist and their readers to sift
through the garbage and the gold they need guideline or, in this instance, a
code. According to Kelly McBride and Tom Rosenstiel in The Future of Journalism Ethics, the three core values of
journalism needed in the 21st century are: Truth, Transparency, and
While these values have stayed relatively consistent over time,
technology has forced them to change, with Truth as its only exception. Getting
information that is as accurate as possible will always be the number one goal
of any journalist; no technology will ever be able to change that (hopefully).
However, transparency is a core value that has molded over time
from independence due to the increase in technology and the ways to get news.
Before these changes though, news outlet consisted of monopolies that encouraged
their writers to stay out of the biased hands of businesses and other secret
deals for information. Few newsrooms worried, though, for fewer readers argued
about the information that was handed to them and few ways of finding out for
Today, with search engines, social media, thousands of news
outlets, etc, to double check facts from it has allowed this generation to
become more critical of reader ready to demand for as much correct information
with proof that it is correct.
I believe the shift from independence to transparency, has cleared
up the sea of news for it has pushed aside the articles, blogs, social media
postings, etc, that are full of simple rumors gossip and made room for the
facts and their credibility. This allows journalism to go from a childish game
of telephone to a sophisticated web of facts and news.
The silhouette of a person whispering into another persons ear. Image provided by Start Up Daily.
Finally, the core value that I believe has made the largest yet
very necessary change is Community. Before, community was replaced with minimize
harm, which meant simply treat those whom are being publicized like actual
human being with compassion and sympathy as needed. This is still a prevalent
issue today especially with the recent shootings in Virginia that resulted in the death of a reporter and a cameraman. How some
news outlets chose to cover this incident left many viewers upset that it did
not respect those whose lives were lost. Many responded on all forms of social
media with their sorrows and disgust of how the deaths were publicized.
I believe it was important that people have the ability to share
their opinions publicly with the writer and their news outlets. This allows
readers to actually see how people feel about what is being given to them and
what else they want and don’t want to know.
All in all, it has taken a great deal of consideration to come up with the three new core values of journalism especially with the amazing technological developments journalists has had to adapt to so far. It will be interesting to see how the journalism world continues to move forward in the future.