Ethics and Values in Modern Day Media
“The public has an insatiable curiosity to know everything. Except what is worth knowing. Journalism, conscious of this, and having tradesman-like habits, supplies their demands.” -- Oscar Wilde. Few would doubt that the media is one of the few platforms that affords people the ability to inform, entertain, and influence society. The privilege of having such voice and influence comes with great responsibility. It is crucial that those in a position of such power behave in a responsible and ethical manner. Journalist across all mediums are held to a strong ethical standard in their profession as their work can to completely change the publics view of any given topic or event. It is obvious that technology is having a tremendous impact on all forms of media. While past generations waited for the evening news or the morning paper, people today are reaching for the internet at any time of the day or night to get the latest information. While this instant access has helped curb the public’s insatiable curiosity for information, it has also raised a whole new set of questions regarding the ethics and values in the media industry. One of the most compelling questions to arise out of this new era is whether the media industry has forsaken its core ethics and values for its own gain.
Values are very personal choices which are compromised of the individual experiences in life. They are choices that help one prioritize their life. Values can be influenced by a number of factors such as family, upbringing, religion, and society. They help one define and project character attributes such as loyalty, compassion and honesty. Values are instrumental in how we behave and the choices we make. Ethics are professional rules that define how different groups of people should behave. There is a distinct sense of right and wrong with little room for “grey” or questionable behavior. Ethics guide and dictate what is professional and...
References: Society of Professional Journalist. (1996). Code of Ethics.
Shea, D. (2008). The Huffington Post.
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