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Do journalists have an ethical responsibility towards future audiences as producers of the first draft of history - Essay Example

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Journalism is a complex process that raises a tirade of ethical issues in numerous ways. Every decision journalists take, and every sentence they write; has ethical implications. Journalists are seen as ambassadors of information; someone, in some part of the world, is affected by each piece of information they give out. …
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Do journalists have an ethical responsibility towards future audiences as producers of the first draft of history
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Download file to see previous pages Ethics and journalism have always had an uneasy relationship, James Carey (1987) states that ethics were introduced as an attempt to control journalists, he is of the view that ethics reflect status and class conflict between the owners of the press, the readers and the reporters. Other theories surrounding the emergence of ethics in journalism state that it was an attempt to stop large corporations from giving freebies and junkets to journalists in return for a favourable piece in the press (Christi 1989). In the modern world, journalism ethics are fundamentally governed by the Human Rights; which includes the right to freedom of expression, the right to privacy and the right to information. Society’s expectations of the press and mass media also contribute towards deciding of journalistic ethics. Journalists and the mass media have influential power, which is inherent in their role as informers to the general public. It is their fundamental duty to provide complete information, and not distort the picture in any way; however it is easier said than done. Not only are journalists reporters; but they are also human beings, with an opinion. They have a particular view of circumstances,and do not always see the truth; therefore it is important that they carry out their task as objectively as possible and not involve their own opinion- for their opinion can distort the facts . As Wolfgang Donsbach (1992) points that ethical journalism consists of the efforts of finding out complete information, and present the facts in a neutral way. Journalists who state their opinion, and influence facts to back up their opinion are not only unprofessional, but also un-ethical. An opposing view is expressed by Malcom (1989) where he states every journalist...
Do journalists have an ethical responsibility towards future audiences as producers of the first draft of history?

Information is an increasingly important resource and journalists play a crucial role in producing and disseminating that information. Technology has made broadcasting information easier, which makes information more powerful, and therefore makes journalists the carriers of this power. Journalists have influential power on the public; their views can shape decisions and recollections of past events. Given the freedom of expression, journalists now have the power to hold the government accountable for their misgivings, they are able to raise questions on behalf of the public and subsequently force the government to correct their mistakes. They can make history, alter how we remember history and choose what not to include in history. Journalism, Ethics and Society In a democratic world, journalist have the responsibility of reporting corruption, abuse of power and any other item of information that the public has the right to know. They have a special political purpose to seek the truth, and resist the pressure to convey distortions.

Journalism is indeed a first draft of memory, as Zarecka (1994) states, thatthe elements of the past that are remembered are worth knowing about. Hence journalists must seek to solidify the pieces of information that are deemed to go down in history books, and to conceptualize them by depicting them through mass media. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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