Ethical Journalism Requires Conscientious Decision Making in Context

1876 WordsOct 2, 20088 Pages
Ethical journalism requires conscientious decision making in context There is indeed a grain of truth in the above statement, journalism ethics does require careful decision making. However, it would have been ideal if conscientious decision could be applied to all contexts. Journalists can be said to be the moral agents of societies. They act as watchdogs or ‘newshounds’, as well as active collectors and disseminators of information (Deuze 2004). Moreover, their job entails certain obligations and their goal, which is the seeking of truth and communicating it to the world can be a difficult one. As stated by Shriver (1998, cited in Starck 2001), “journalists wrestle daily to give order and meaning to the endless and confusing flow of…show more content…
For instance, journalists usually make the mistake of linking ethno-specific data or images with general criminal activity (Stockwell & Scott 2000) or they often associate the number workers or immigrants to crime rates. These types of unethical and unthoughtful decisions can cause great distress between communities and make journalists lose their credibility. Thus in these contexts, conscientious decision making is pivotal. So much so, another external factor attached to decision making is competitive influence. Nowadays, due to rising competition in the market, organizations prefer news that sells. Tabloidisation of news as defined by McLachlan and Golding (2000) is characterised by, “fewer international news stories, more pictures, less text, more human interest and entertainment news stories and less political or parliamentary news.” Tabloids media that dominate popular culture are replacing hard news and the distinct line between what people need to know and what they want to know are blurring out. Increasingly, due to competition, newspapers want to be the first to publish certain news. Thus, added pressure is laid on the back of journalists. Usually, in trying to report news first, stories are poorly researched, opinionated and biased since
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