Wednesday, August 31, 2016

An Ethical Opportunity?

Madison DeChellis

Journalism can be beneficial in many ways but, what does it really take to be a good journalist in today's society? Where do you draw the line on what to post or what to leave out after a shooting or a bad accident? After reading, "The Elements of Journalism" I learned that journalism is an act of character, according to the text. With so many ambitious writers, blogs and social media platforms are becoming super popular and a way for young journalists to grow and build themselves as young journalists. This gives anyone the ability to speak their voice on whatever topics that interest them and connect with similar audiences. Although this is a positive part of journalism, it can also cause many problems in the media.

Too Good To Be True

A previous writer for the New York Times and now the Washington Post, Jayson Blair, started to become a very popular and upcoming writer. As time went on in his articles, dates, places and sources were becoming questionable and he had very similar stories to other writers. A lot of his information came from stories by other reporters. "Blair was not an aggressive, dedicated reporter but a troubled young man relying on deceit, plagiarism, and fiction to further his career at the expensive of everyone else around him"(269).

If anyone has ever seen the movie, "Shattered Glass," the Jayson Blair case is almost identical to journalist, Stephen Glass who puts on a show for everyone in his office. Glass made up numerous sources and went to every extent to make them look real, such as fake business cards, numbers, emails and even fake companies. Anything Glass could do to make his stories successful, he went to every extent to do. He even used his brother's number for a fake source. In the end, Stephen Glass was left a sad journalist who got himself into deep trouble with his not just his editor and co-workers, but his reputation was ruined within the journalism world. This case and Blair's case help expose ethical lapses and flaws in big newspapers and magazines.

The Judge of Journalism  

Everyday we choose which social media platform to get on, which magazine to read or which snapchat discover page we want to read. When we do this, we are trusting the judgment of the writers of these articles or posts. This is where the importance of ethics comes into play. Ethics are involved in every type of journalism and every decision or article journalists choose to post.

Whether you are on Twitter and see an article titled, "8 Surprising Things You Should Never Eat If Your Trying To Lose Weight," or "You're Doing It Wrong; Washing Your Gym Clothes," the article itself might not contain the information the title makes it out to be. Often times writers do this so you will click on the article, even though you might not want to read it. Also, many competing magazines and newspapers post similar things around the same time period so they can gain a similar audience.

Honesty in the newsroom is a major key in the journalism world. How you report news as a journalist determines the way readers view the newspaper or magazine you write for. "There has to be a culture in newsrooms that allows a journalist to have a free and open discussion," according to Linda Foley. As a journalist, the biggest thing I took away from the readings was the ethics and responsibility journalists have to succeed. Whether you are tweeting something or posting a status on Facebook, ethics always come into play. It's easy to publish something on your social media platforms without checking the facts or statistics. These are all examples of the importance of ethics in journalism in today's society.




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