Ethical Responsibilities of the Media

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The role of the media is to formally update the people about what is happening in the world around them. This means that it should give the audience an objective view of what is occurring without violating any human rights or offending viewers. Since there are no certain limitations put on broadcasting violent material, some Arab media channels like Al-Jazeera started excelling in giving the viewer a complete picture about what is occurring in warring nations. From broadcasting the casualties on the battlefield to airing hostage torture videos, Al-Jazeera and other news channels are airing more graphic footage, and this has many negative effects on the viewing public. Terrorists make use of this extra publicity that these networks give them, to promote their message that they will kill if their demands are not met. Also children are adversely affected by the violence that is shown on television. Therefore, the media should ban the broadcasting of hostage torture videos because they help to empower the terrorists by airing these horrible acts, and by making the brutal details of these murders accessible to the public, the media is igniting a propaganda war that can create a more hostile world. Finally airing the hostage torture videos shows no respect to the hostage's families and this clearly violates their human rights. News channels are sensationalizing the hostage videos and are making them more accessible to the public than ever before. Prior to airing this stream of hostage films on Al-Jazeera and similar news channels, people used to fulfill their curiosity by downloading beheadings or torture videos from illegal websites. In the www.bbc.com article "Who Watches Murder Videos?" by Duncan Walker, an anonymous viewer explained why people download these violent films, "You almost can't believe that a group of people could be so pitiless as to carry out something so cruel and bestial, and you need to have it confirmed," he said (Walker). At least on the...
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