Final reaction paper
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The media ethics basically describes the appropriate modes of ethics and behavior which ought to be observed by the modern media while doing its job of passing information to the general public. The professional code of ethics which the media personnel have to follow include fairness, connectedness, good journalistic practice, loyalty, privacy, and more protecting the innocent and the weak against media rant (Patterson & Lee, pg.4). Lying in the media is strongly despised and those caught committing such crimes faces to be laid off and even being removed from the country’s national union of journalists. James Matt who was a renowned news journalist with a big city daily newspaper and one morning he is informed by a source that a multinational motor company wanted to construct a motor industry in the city he resided. He takes the initiative communicates with the company’s representative who affirms that actually the corporation had already written to the owner of the land between the 1st and the Northwest avenues in the city.
Unluckily, the area where the company wishes to acquire houses a large number of homeless citizens and therefore James feels the sympathy to run a media report showing how the prospective company would displace many American citizens. He goes around in search of homeless people so as to take them photograph shots but fails to get any willing ones. He therefore decides to use his pals so that they pose as homeless people onthe streets. The pictures are run in the newspaper even though the news editor is unaware that the pictures were gotten from cheating.
Media work is very sensitive as it entails giving out information to the public and majority of the readers take it as true therefore its ethical to ensure that the news released to the society is truthful. James lied to the public or rather he lied by manipulating pictorial so as to resemble the real picture on the ground. Honesty, truthful, and fairness are values which were quite useful or rather relevant in such a situation. All new sources ought to be wholly truthful and accurately stand for stories which are accurate and always consider not doing news which would make the public lose trust in them.
From centuries ago many philosophers have been trying to lay down the principles to follow while under the siege of ethical dilemmas. For instance, Aristotle came up with the golden mean or rather the moral theory described as virtual ethics. It basically meant that everyone had to know what exactly he/she was doing, and one should pick an act due to its own sake (Bok pg.299). Kant advocated that people should operate in such a way that they treated humanity as an ending and not as a way only (Bok pg.41). On the other hand, utilitarianism argued that the consequences of events were more imperative in choosing whether they were ethical (Bok, pg.275). For instance, it could be said that it was ethical to harm the company by reporting its endeeavors for the good of the community.
There are several factors which would have led James to lie to the public like for instance his personal feelings towards the homeless citizens. But James should not have let his feelings cloud his professional opinion. Actually there were other avenues to voice the concern like involving a social organization to inform the motor company about the homeless people. Moreover, the codes of work dictate that journalists should be truthful at all times a principle James broke by manipulating the news. Therefore, for James to justify his acts he ought to have revealed his moral rationale behind his deed but it is seen that he didn’t even inform the news editor about the fake pictorial. For this reason, I would decide not to follow James path and rather apply my ethics towards publishing the news (Bok, pg.91).
Following the media ethics ensures that one doesn’t brush shoulders with the public and also his/her employer. I would have convinced the homeless people about taking their pictures by creating warm public relations. This would have created trust between them and me therefore accepting to whatever assistance I needed from them. Moreover, the establishment of the motor company in the city would actually have had numerous advantages like creating job opportunities to the locals thus I would have used the local social organizations to mediate between the homeless people and the company so as to find an amicable solution.
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