Media Effects

Better Essays
Topics: Ethics
Critical Issues

February 11, 2012

Crisis in Darfur

The quality of global news coverage has decreased in the past ten years. Even the quantity of reported global crises has gone down. The issue in Darfur has been ongoing since 2003. Though global issues tend to be complex and may not have a foreseeable end or solution, they should not be ignored. More importantly, they should be reported accurately. Defining news is difficult. Deciding what news America would or wouldn’t prefer is difficult. Americans deserve access to whatever news interests them – whether that is the “greatest humanitarian crisis of the twenty-first century” in Darfur or the death of pop singer Michael Jackson (Christians). Is it not any reporter’s goal to truly enlighten its readers especially on such a controversial issue? Underlying this case is the principal of social justice that is often ignored. Is the news media at fault for not always providing “sufficient interpretations?” Or are they ethically sound only addressing little about the topic’s dynamic dimensions or even steering clear of complex conflicts altogether? In order to decide if news coverage in Darfur, for example, is ethically correct steps need to be considered. Defining the situation, addressing values, principles and loyalties will reveal what action news reporters should be taking. Utilizing the Potter Box to analyze the issue in Darfur proves that the issue is not presented in terms of justice but rather in the sensation of violence. I believe that social justice is the ethical principle behind this issue that the news media overlooks too easily, and reporters on this crisis should act on that principle. The case in Darfur presents two situations. In one, the world should see Darfur in terms of justice and in another where it should see only its ongoing violence. Few reports account for Darfur in light of social justice. The majority of news reporters dealing with the violence in Darfur find



Cited: Cathcart, B. (2007, April 2). When journalism is powerless. Retrieved from http://www.newstatesman.com/africa/2007/04/zimbabwe-darfur-reporting Christians, C. (2005). Media Ethics Cases and Moral Reasoning. Fackler, Richardson, Kreshel, Woods, (9th Ed.). Boston, Massachusetts.

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