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 that would start the process of solving the problems.News reporting does have an objective reporting side to it initially however ethical agendas often vary. For example, reporters during the Vietnam war made it part of their reporting activities to expose the lies of the Pentagon to the public through their writings and pictorials. Another example would be the activities of the news reporters during the civil rights movement. However with the increasing commercialization of news agencies and the "profit motive" driving the media into becoming an entity, it would not report against the government with the fear of lock down on operations (David).Deception in news reporting is only excused as acceptable when it protects national security efforts, assists in the confidentiality of intelligence agendas or used as the most ethical means to inform society in an extreme situation without causing a mass panic. "In 1938, Orson Welles caused a nationwide panic with his broadcast of "War of the Worlds"-a realistic radio dramatization of a Martian invasion of Earth. Welles and his Mercury Theater company decided to update H.G. Wells' 19th-century science fiction novel War of the Worlds for national radio. 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" (History.com, 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 ..." (History.com, 2012)."Perhaps as many as a million radio listeners believed that a real Martian invasion was underway. Panic broke out across the country. ...

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