Ethical Journalism Notes

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In the society we live in, the idea of ethics to the general population of our society are often individual choices, each depending on the ethics of each individual. This however, is not the case when journalists and ethics are juxtaposed. Respect for truth and the public’s right to information are fundamental principles (Media Alliance Code of Ethics. 2012). Once again, ethics is completely dependent on the type of individual, however in journalism, codes such as the MEAA act as a strict guideline which effectively can prescribe the correct action in all circumstance. It is these guidelines that have been created through the years which have kept many journalists’ ethics pure. These codes of conduct have span back to the early twentieth-century when several pioneering codes of journalism ethics were created into a single document. (Ward. 2004. 24) it is these codes of conduct that can successfully prescribe the correct circumstances. Taking the MEAA into example, the twelve codes create a informative guideline that can be relied upon in all situations. A situation where in a journalist is faced with a problematic ethical decision such as having pictures of a figure of importance. To manipulate or edit the picture in any way may be a bad ethical and moral choice, but it would ultimately appeal to the general audience. A journalist that follows a code if conduct of the MEAA would acknowledge rule number nine, “Present pictures and sound which are true and accurate.  Any manipulation likely to mislead should be disclosed.” (Media alliance Code of Ethics. 2012.) it is this situation and all other various ethical situations that a journalist may come by, that they can find themselves relying on a code of ethics to ultimately steer them towards the correct path of ethical journalism.

“Do not allow personal interest, or any belief, commitment, payment, gift or benefit, to undermine your accuracy, fairness or independence” (Media Alliance Code of Ethics. 2012). This...
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