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.
Monday, November 14, 2016
Think First, Publish Second
Social media is the ultimate double-edged sword of today’s
media world.With so many people
invested in various types of social media everyday, we’re bound to have more
content than we know what to do with or to believe. Creating and monitoring
content that is reliable and trusted is how journalism will continue to rise
above the not-so-professional media.
Today, anybody can be a journalist. You can’t always be sure
that what you’re reading on your Facebook feed is trustworthy or written as a
scam. With this power comes great responsibility for all journalists that wish
to keep relaying the truth to the public.
When it comes to journalism, being first to get the story
out is how you stay ahead, but with the popularity of media and the ease of
access to a computer, this is not always the case. For example, the release of
Whitney Houston’s death was by no prestigious news source, but rather, tweeted
out to the world by a distant connection. Being able to put out information to
the world with such ease is great competition for sources like the Associated
Press or Huffington Post.
With the competition comes the drive that news outlets need
to dig deeper and get stories quicker. Luckily, most big news sources are whom
the public looks to for verification. As aspiring journalists we must remain
the trusted source and not fall into the trap of hoaxes and lies.
Social media is so apparent in our society we don’t realize
the impact it can have on those around us. I know that I, like many of my
generation, have tweeted or Facebook posted random thoughts that have come to my
mind, without thinking through how quickly it can reach tons of people.
We, as a society, are constantly scrolling through our
feeds, reading whatever various friends and relatives have shared. You see how
people you know personally can be sucked into stories that a trained eye can
see are unreliable. Keeping people honest and reminding them to fact check
before posting are both good ways of keeping this constant feed of dishonest
media at bay.
Reputations can be tainted quickly in cyberspace. Anyone can
say anything about whatever and there are going to be some population of people
that believe it. Being ethical about how we post and with whom we associate on
social media can be a lifesaver. As a young person soon to enter the job
market, I must always stay aware of what I’m posting and who I’m interacting
with because I know that what I release on social media is very public and can
always be accessed by whoever wishes to.
Use it Right
After sorting through right and wrong, social media is a
great way to stay informed and receive immediate access to your favorite news
outlets.Keeping up with trusted news
sources and sharing those with your followers or friends is how we can keep
trustworthy and ethical news mainstream. Whenever you're reading through your
feed or publishing a new post, always keep in mind your ethics codes and how
you want to be seen by the public.