Moral Difficulties Involved in War Reporting

3407 WordsMar 26, 201014 Pages
Moral Difficulties Involved in War Reporting Contents Introduction………………………………………………………………….page 3 Historical perspective on the evolution of journalistic ethics……………….page 4 Deontology and Utilitarianism………………………………………………page 5 Ethical Dilemma: Should reporters ever leak and/or publish classified information in a time of war? Arguments in favour……………...page 5 Ethical dilemma: Should reporters ever leak and/or publish classified information in a time of war? Arguments opposed………………page 6 Applying principles of Deontology and Utilitarianism to the ethical dilemma………………………………………………………page 8 Conclusion….………………………………………………………………page 10 Bibliography………………………………………………………………...page 11 Introduction Journalists…show more content…
To summarize, there have been times throughout journalistic history when deception and taking sides was acceptable, but objectivity and responsibility were largely considered to be professional standards as we entered the 21st century. Deontology and Utilitarianism Of the many methods for applying ethical theories to war reporting, I narrowed the choice down to Deontology and Utilitarianism as referenced in the introduction. Deontology involves applying a universal set of principles (Jordin 2009, p. 15) “. . . which makes the duty or the obligations we owe other human beings the fundamental principle of ethics.” Doing our duty is not based on a particular set of circumstances. Since acts are judged only by their consequences, the means justify the ends. Utilitarianism is defined by the consequences of actions, not the act’s moral or intrinsic value. Jordin (2009, p. 17) states, “Where deontological theories thus talk more in terms about what is right, consequentialist theories are more concerned with the good.” Moral worth is determined by its ability to produce the most amount of good for the greatest number. Here, the ends justify the means. How can these two standards help answer our ethical dilemma? We can answer this question by examining a few cases from the current Iraq conflict and others. Ethical Dilemma: Should reporters ever leak and/or publish classified information in
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