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Invasion of Privacy Case Study

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1. Presented case concerns the ethical issue of invasion of privacy. However, private life is considered to be constitutional right of every person.

  • Ashe`s reputation;
  • Rate of AIDS and attitude of the society to this problem;
  • Popular people that have faced the same situation (AIDS);
  • The way in which the information tend to be presented;
  • Reputation of USA Today;
  • Source of information.

3. Fidelity- Editor of USA Today;  

Reparation - Possible public people, whose stories were presented in the newspaper before.

Gratitude - Person who is considered to be the source of the information for USA Today.

Justice - Arthur Ashe, Magic Johnson.

Beneficence - Arthur Ashe, editor of USA Today.

Non- injury- Arthur Ashe and his daughter.

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4. Alternative to the present scenario could be presented by the opportunity of Arthur Ashe to have some time to get prepared for possible questions of journalists.

The best and the worst scenarios of actions:

Present variant- Ashe may commit suicide, it can lead to a big scandal in society, and Ashe may have different troubles in future;

Alternative- Ashe may understand that his fans are ready to support and understand him. Moreover, he can become the one to start the movement to help people with AIDS.
Possible harm from the decision:

Present variant - society can react negatively to such “problems” of public persons; Ashe can lose hope for normal life and support of society.

Alternative - USA Today may have lower rates, thus the interview would be prepared and Ashe would be ready to answer on different kinds of questions.

Honoring of any idea or value:

Present variant - underlining the sport career of Ashe could have negative result in this case. Thus, his personality attracts a lot of public ttention.

Alternative - professional and personal features could help to present this situation in a proper way not to make harm to Arthur Ashe and his family and especially daughter who even does not know about the illness.

Rules and codes of ethics:

Present variant - probably here we may speak about codes of professional ethics in order to make the analysis of the situation we have got. Code of ethics and professional journalistic standards present the rule of avoiding harm and using only truthful and adequate information. Moreover, there is a norm of Constitution that protects private life of every person.  While making the choice between two main variants there is a need to remember about these facts.

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5. Any decision would have rather influential effect on the total situation. However, it seems to be logical to give Arthur Ashe the opportunity to prepare himself to defend his private life and life of his family. Alternative decision can bring more positive moments then basic decision of editor. Thus, the role of moral agent is to discover the “good” and “bad” sides of decisions. The point of view presented by the USA Today gives an idea of information that could become too popular and help to raise the rates of the newspaper.

It is difficult to decide if there is anyone who could also influence on the final decision and take responsibility for the results that could be achieved by any of the objectives. The final responsibility lies on the editor of USA Today. However, it is his work and choice to give time to Ashe.

In this case we can consider Ashe`s daughter to be defenseless. Thus, it is rather hard for her to understand this kind of information about AIDS. However, she is the only member of the family who does not know about hard illness of her father. This means that Ashe understands that it would be a hard challenge for her.

Actually, in presented case study it is better to speak about not commercial interest but morality. This is not the kind of news that could be considered the source of commercial interest. We have the case concerning a public personality and AIDS. Both these aspects make us realize the possiblee negative results that could be affected by the editor’s decisions not to give Ashe an opportunity to figure out possible ways of defense of his private life and family concerns.

In case of alternative decision presented by moral agent most of the complaints could get certain benefits. Editor would have a newspaper with the relevant information about private life of public person. Ashe would have an opportunity to have time for preparations before giving interview on the mentioned topic. Ashe’s family and daughter would be saved from multiple questions from society and representatives of muss media.

The interest of the minority is also important, but probably in this case we must pay main attention to the right of Ashe for private life. His interest needs to be taken into account by the moral agent and the editor of USA Today. However, such information even when presented late, but only in USA Today could help to raise the rate of popularity of this paper.

It seems to be logically to make some rule as a president for similar situations. Topics which concern private life of people should be discussed together with these people and decision should be a result of effective conversation. Moreover, we need to remember about dignity and private life security by the law. There is a need to underline that such way of behavior could increase the level of trust to mass media and USA Today.

6. There is no doubt that it would be right to give Ashe some time to get prepared to answer all the questions concerning the information that we are going to present in our newspaper. We need to respect human dignity and right for private life. We would not miss the profit while acting this way. Moreover, the level of trust from community may increase and the rates would get higher.

Thus, if we would chose not to give Ashe any time we would get our article ready earlier. But, actually Arthur Ashe could take the position of autonomy and even do not give any comments on the topic. This would be the worst  variant for the reputation of USA Today. We are not totally sure about the source of this information and without any comments from the side of the main actor we would not be able to rise the rate of popularity and trust to USA Today.

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