Cyclone Debbie Ethical Issues

Decent Essays
When covering natural disasters, journalists are faced with many legal and ethical challenges. This makes it difficult to report on certain aspects of the event, though it remains in the public’s interest to be informed. These ethical dilemmas are complex and reflect highly on the publisher’s moral compass. With the recent tragedy of Cyclone Debbie, it is evident where the key laws and ethical frameworks were adopted when writing tasteful and informative news regardless of surrounding pressure.

A key barrier journalists face when covering natural disasters is the inability to access the site. Muller (2010) highlights the ethical and legal boundaries that journalists are challenged with as they are faced with the decision to either follow authorities orders,
…show more content…
It is difficult for journalists to sift through an overload of information and ensure what they publish is not too distressing for the public. Decent and tasteful reporting is critical, especially when concerning the death of civilians. A lot of sensitivity surrounds the matter and journalists need to ensure they do not disclose any information the police have not already released to the public or families involved. To ensure this, victim’s names must be disclosed until the families have been notified and give permission. This would have been difficult when covering Cyclone Debbie, as journalists must communicate with authorities to know what information has been released to avoid an unethical report.

Natural disasters pose many complex ethical and legal challenges for journalists. It is critical to adopt an ethical framework to ensure the content published is tasteful and in the best interest of the public. By applying key laws and ethical thinking, the journalist can safely cover an event with authentic and informative reporting that does not breach the law or well-being of
Get Access