Journalism Ethics Case Study

Topics: Journalism, Journalism ethics and standards, Mass media Pages: 3 (1172 words) Published: May 29, 2011
Journalism Ethics – A Case Study
It is always important for reporters to remember to incorporate the right ethical guidelines when writing a story, so that the news remains objective, informative and proper. However, some like to ignore ethics in order to make their news story more interesting to read and thus, gather a wider readership. Some of the many issues of journalism ethics include the limits of free speech, accuracy and bias, fairness and privacy, the use of graphic images, conflicts of interest, the representation of minorities, and the role of journalism (Ward 2008). In the beginning of the article, the author called the person responsible for the crime, a ‘sick monster’. Although everyone would agree on the truth of that statement, the journalist should have remained objective when writing the article. The journalist must keep their own opinions out of the article and allow the readers to form their own opinions on the basis of the facts which the journalist has presented (wein). There is the assumption of the possibility of unmistakably distinguishing between facts and opinions emerges clearly and accords precisely with the positivistic way of understanding the concept of objectivity, where everything that the journalist can and must write is that which he can directly observe and that which is factual (Wein). That is not what the writer of the article did, instead emotions became involved. The graphic description of how the child was raped would seem uncalled for, but it is difficult to set limit of details when faced with such a shocking crime. News writing is essentially about writing facts; it would be difficult for the writer to avoid upsetting the readers when the facts are essentially violent. Just as it is mentioned in the Tragedies and Journalists guide, they advise journalist to avoid unneeded gory details about the victims’ deaths. They can achieve this by asking themselves if the images are pertinent or will do unnecessary harm to...
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