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.
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Honesty is the Best Policy. Right?
Brea Burks email@example.com
I should be surprised by how people will sneak around to gain
power, but I'm not. As you can see with this election, anyone can run for power
and anyone can get their hands on the "right" sources to sound
credible enough to trick the public.
The people who are
making fake identities and who are getting paid under the table are blocking
people from actually knowing the truth. Then they wonder why you can't believe
anything that is put on the internet. We have caught on to the lies that are, unfortunately, being told everyday by "credible sources," which makes
us second guess everything that going on in our country.
One thing that
keeps popping into my mind is the political campaign going on right now.The debate that happened last night was very
interesting. Well, all of them were, honestly. But, I feel as if every point was
trying to see which person is more "worse" of a person to become your
president. I do believe that news reporters, publicists, companies, etc. are
being paid secretively to tell a skewed story of the truth. I also believe that
both candidates are now just digging up more horrible information about one
another and trying to hide their past so someone can be more fit.
When we were
little kids, we were always taught that “honesty is the best policy.”
I guess the point I am trying to get at is, when has honesty
become the absolute lie in today's world?
That question gets
tied to the article we had to read about Josh Shaw. According to the LA Times, USC's
athletic department’s social media director sent out a six paragraph statement
that Shaw saved his 7-year-old from drowning. But it did not take long for news
companies to find out the truth in that story.
It later was confirmed by Shaw (less than 48 hours) that the story
was a lie. Do you see why I ask such a complex question? Why do you need to lie
about something that never happened? I am happy to hear that some news
reporters are still checking their sources to make sure a story is true before
they back it up with another story stating the same information.
Another article that stood out to me was the story about Armstrong Williams being paid under the table to promote No Child Left Behind (NCLB)
campaign. He was paid $240,000 to do so.
There are multiple issues with this story. One issue is when does
the ethical line come to play? Yes, you might believe in this campaign but do
you really need to be paid to discuss it on your outlets? Also, you should
always second guess information that you would become more bias to.
We, as journalists, have a
certain name to uphold in the industry. However, if certain journalists keep
tainting our good name, the audience has no one to trust. I think it’s time to
weed out the good and bad journalists and get back to the “good times,” where
our audience didn’t have to question every word that we typed on our computer.