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Media Ethics class - Essay Example

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Summary
The question of ethics is a relative one with the very chance of something being right or wrong being represented by an actor’s thoughts and conscience. In this regard, it would be impossible to determine the exact thoughts Nev and his brother, Ariel, had when they decided to…
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Catfish-Ethical Analysis The question of ethics is a relative one with the very chance of something being right or wrong being represented by an actor’s thoughts and conscience. In this regard, it would be impossible to determine the exact thoughts Nev and his brother, Ariel, had when they decided to travel to Michigan. Perhaps, this was a mere experiment or it was curiosity getting the better of them. However, this analysis looks at this as a normal budding interest of any regular journalist who wants to conclude the story. In this case, it is purely an official and not a personal engagement. Definitely, this is a bit misconstrued given the very personal nature of the relationships revealed from the start. However, the fact that Nev was already aware of the fact that something was “amiss” may suggest that they only wanted to get to the bottom of the story, “see the story through”. In this regard, I would consider their decision to travel to Michigan as an ethical act. This position is informed by the sensitivity and relevance of the issue at hand. Facebook is currently the most subscribed form of social media( Plaisance 167 ). All persons who subscribe to it have different goals as evidenced by the documentary, therefore, it would be important for the media to educate the masses on this aspect. This way, the media plays its critical role which is educating people on the various perspectives and the widespread intentions of people taking to social media. I look at the decision to travel to Michigan as a way of providing the reality check and bringing to the viewers the intrigues and deceptions that can take place in the social media. This way, the public is informed and hopefully individuals are able to take due caution in interacting with strangers in social media.
This ethical stance is informed by Jeremy Bentham’s and John Stuart Mill’s utilitarianism theory. The theory asserts that the right course of action is that which maximizes utility it is that which delivers greatest good to the greatest number. In this case, Nev and Ariel upset a few people, the Abby’s family, to educate the entire public on the deceptions and misrepresentations that can be carried on social media. This arguably benefits a large population which would have been oblivious of such reality. Further, this view is very much in line with Plaisance thoughts on the media people who must recognize that they are creatures of community and must take the responsibility towards others as we are all interconnected and must care for each other (Plaisance 198). The care he alludes to is perfectly represented by Nev and Ariel; of course such conclusion only results from the context described earlier/above.
Question two
The significance of the film’s title, Catfish, is best described by Megan’s father and Angela’s husband, Vince. Towards the film’s conclusion Vince relates Angela’s action to those of a Catfish. He explains a scenario where live cod was shipped to Asia. Following shipment the fish remained inactive. This prompted Chinese fishermen to introduce Catfish in the tanks which contained the live cod. This introduction stirred life into the live cod and from then on the live cod remained active. In this allusion, Angela’s role is to keep Nev active and she takes on the role of the Catfish in the above scenario. In this case, I would agree on Angela’s role as the Catfish, she occupies Nev throughout the film and forms the basis of the film.
Work Cited
Plaisance, Patrick L. Media Ethics: Key Principles for Responsible Practice. Los Angeles: SAGE, 2009. Print. Read More
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