Media Freedom, Regulation, and Ethics

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Marquise Mack
11-25-06
Ch. 14
Mass Communication
Media Freedom, Regulation and Ethics
Ethics are rules of conduct or principles. They point us toward the right way top act in a situation. Philosophers over the years developed a number of general ethical principles that have particular relevance. There are five different types of ethical principles. The principle of the Golden Mean is a Moral virtue that lies between extremes. Examples are found in media practices like news organizations that cover civil disorders. They balance the necessity of informing the public with the need to preserve public safety. The Categorical Imperative which is discovered by examination of conscience. Conscience informs us what is right. An example would be reporter should not represent himself or herself as anything other than a reporter when gather information about a story. The principle of Utility is defined as the greatest benefit of the greatest number. Utilitarianism provides a clear method for ethical choices. One is calculating all consequences both good and bad. Choose the alternative that maximizes values or minimizes. The veil of Ignorance conceals roles and social differentiations and that each participant is treated as an equal member of society as a whole. The veil of ignorance suggests that a reporter must treat all members the same. Principle of Self-Determination should not be violated by using them as simply a means to accomplish a goal. It also suggests that the press is being used by those who leaked the story as a means to their goal. In some situation personal ethical decisions have to be made about what should or should not be done. Like including some things in the media. Many decisions have to be made within minutes or hours. Media codes of performance and methods of self regulations are less precise and less stringent than those of other organizations. Many other ethical principles are discussed in these codes and they are: The Print Media,...
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