Journalism Ethics

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Deception in an unavoidable part of journalism. Discuss.

In today’s world of journalism, deception has become an issue. More and more ethical issues have begun to spring revolving around deception in journalism. Many cases prove other wise but many at times, deceptive methods in journalism are still unacceptable and it jeopardizes the accountability of this profession. The code of ethics serves as a guideline for all editors and journalists to be able to sustain accountability in their work. (Richards, I 2005) How does it justify a journalist’s work when he bridges the code of ethics just to be able to provide information? As explained by Elliot and Culver (1992), there are 3 stages of deception when obtaining information. The first stage would begin with the investigation process. According to Elliot and Culver, at this stage, journalist themselves go undercover and go right into the scene to obtain information. The level of deception truly lies on how well the journalist can obtain information being someone he is not. At many times, information is not fully passed on to the journalist as the authority might not want information to be revealed to the public. The second stage of deception would be when journalist interrogates for information. The deceptive way of interrogation often happens during interview. Journalist might often find ways to get as much information out from the interviewee because information coming from someone who is directly or have been through with the case would serve as vital information. To sympathize the interviewee and to secretly taping the interview are 2 prominent examples shared by Elliot and Culver 1992. The last stage of deception would be deciding how the story is presented. Journalist who chooses to publish a story based on how they want to will highly deceive the audience. What may seem right and important to the journalist may not be the same as what the public would think. By omitting information, the public would not...
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