Ethically Responsible News Reporting

1243 words - 5 pages

Ethically Responsible and Irresponsible News ReportingEthically responsible is a theory that goes with the premise that equality should prevail in society and that society should respect each other's human rights and in return will preserve the dignity and respect of each other and other members of society. Objectivity in reporting also adds to the theory of ethics because objective reporting is a concept that journalists should report without bias and should remain neutral in all circumstances. This way, they are able to bring the actual truth about the condition of society to the forefront of the public's awareness, and expose potential problems of social injustice and initiating actions ...view middle of the document...

The show began on Sunday, October 30, at 8 p.m. A voice announced: "The Columbia Broadcasting System and its affiliated stations present Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater on the air in 'War of the Worlds' by H.G. Wells" (, 2012)."Sunday evening in 1938 was prime time in the golden age of radio, and millions of Americans had their radios turned on. However, most of these Americans were listening to ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his dummy "Charlie McCarthy" on NBC and only turned to CBS at 8:12 p.m. after the comedy sketch ended and a little-known singer went on. By then, the story of the Martian invasion was well underway. Soon, an announcer was at the crash site describing a Martian emerging from a large metallic cylinder. "Good heavens," he declared, "something's wriggling out of the shadow like a gray snake. Now here is another and another one and another one. They look like tentacles to me ..." (, 2012)."Perhaps as many as a million radio listeners believed that a real Martian invasion was underway. Panic broke out across the country. The Federal Communications Commission investigated the program but found no law was broken. Networks did agree to be more cautious in their programming in the future" (, 2012).Looking back on news journalist's reports that aired on September 11, 2001 gives an example of both responsible and irresponsible ethics in news reporting. When reporters got accurate and precise information to the public in a timely matter, the public was then able to inform their loved ones calling from cell phones on one of the hijacked planes that was still up in the air, and unaware of the other planes that had already crashed. This gave the passengers on the hijacked Pennsylvania flight the opportunity to take action against the terrorists, which prevented their aircraft from crashing into its intended target, possibly saving hundreds or thousands of lives (Ondix, 2012)."Within in minutes of this triumph in journalism, reporters provided the terrorists with a new target. In their rush to scoop rivals and to keep their audience's attention, reporters broadcasted the president's flight plans and locations. Without clear knowledge that the attacks were over, the media may have placed the president in danger. The American people did long to know that President Bush was safe, but the details of his whereabouts were not necessary." (Ondix, 2012)The right to privacy is only respected during times when the information being protected is not against the interests of society. The concepts of whistle blowing also follow...

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