Media Ethics Potter Box

Topics: Ethics, Virtue, Terrorism Pages: 4 (1192 words) Published: March 25, 2007
Case Study 1
Part 1
Analyse the issue using the Potter Box. Use the quadrants of the Potter Box to make your own judgment of the New York Times' decision to delay publication for a year, and omit certain information. Was it ethically justifiable?

1.Definition or situation. 4. Loyalties.
2. Values. 3. Ethical principal.

Facing objection for the White House, The New York Times went ahead and published an article about President Bush permitting the N.S.A to spy on Americans without court warrants, but it was delayed for a year to research for additional reporting and certain information were excluded. The Potter Box is used to analyse the problem regarding this situation.

The Potter Box introduces four dimensions of moral analysis to aid us in locating those places where most misunderstanding occurs (Ethical Foundation of perspectives, 2005, p.3). The Potter Box consists of four quadrants that include definition or situation, values, ethical principal and loyalties. The Potter Box is one of the ways to solve the ethical problems occurred in the media industry.

The first quadrant in the Potter Box is definition or situation, in this case study I had identified the situation occurred in December 16th, 2005. The September 11 attacks on the United States of America shocked the whole nation, pressuring administration officials and intelligence agencies to tighten security measures inside the country. President Bush authorized the National Security Agency to spy on Americans without prior court approval or warrants, to gather information on any suspected terrorist activities and prevent future terrorist attacks. Since the presidential order was signed in 2002, thousands of Americans were monitored by the N.S.A via eavesdropping and reading e-mail messages. According to officials, "overseas, about 5000 to 7000 people suspected of terrorist ties are monitored at one time" (Risen & Litchblau, 2005). However, this anti-terrorism campaign has caused concerns...

References: Christians, C. et al, Media Ethics: Cases and Moral Reasoning, 7th edition, New York, Longman, 2001.
Leslie, L. (2004). Mass Communication. Boston: Houghton, Miftlin Company.
Risen, J. & Lichtblau, E. (2005). Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts. New York Times.
Vardy, Peter and Paul Grosch, The Puzzle of Ethics, 1st U.S. ed., Armonk, N.Y., M.E. Sharpe, 1997.
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