Monday, February 23, 2009
Journalists from across the globe, collect, write, edit, and present news or news articles in newspapers and magazines and in radio and television broadcasts through the media. The code of ethics and/or canons provide journalists a framework for self-monitoring and self-correction as they pursue professional assignments.
Media, a social institution of information sharing by journalists. The tools used to store or deliver data according to the Websters Dictionary. The media does an essential task for our society by delivering pertinent information to its audience regarding social issues that are of interest, of importance and to fulfill a publics need to keep informed.
The Society of Professional Journalism follow a code of ethics, which are not rules, but are the tools to follow for ethical decision making. In the United States, private citizens are protected from slander. On the other hand, public figures have fewer privacy rights in U.S. law, where reporters are immune from a civil case if they have reported without malice on very controversial and important issues. Meaning, they can later apologize, retract anything reported and make corrections if their reporting was seen as malicious by the very public figure. In comparison, Canadian journalists have to present news with full facts on a very controversial issue.
The cartoon above is from Australia, clearly a perception from the outside, that compares the American media action on political parties and their leaders.
Media Bias, a term used to describe the real and percieved bias of journalists and producers of the mass media. Media bias has had major impact on many news recipients regarding important decisions and issues in the United States. Without fear of repercussions, the road for unethical journalism is a free for all.
How is it that we as the recipients of all news, can we perceive and comprehend the meaning behind a message? What is our response based on? Is it our history, knowledge or our social groups (peers, friends, family, etc)? Would we make better and more informed decisions if news were presented by ethical journalists? and a law that holds them accountable for slander on very important and crucial newsworth issues.
The media and its framework are an integral part of society and works with major institutions to keep it going. In a Structural Function persepective, the survival of professional journalism as we know it, is in danger due to radical changes needed for unethical journalists. Which may happen with the upcoming review on the Federal Communications Commission. Many ethical professional journalists fear, they will no longer be seen as professionals as long as the code of ethics are abused. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of their credibility. (Society of Professional Journalists ethics)
http://www.freedomhouse.org/ - regarding the freedom of the press, first amendment
http://www.ocrpl.org/ The canons of American journalism (a good source for sociological insights by sociologist Michael Sudson.)
http://www.spj.org/ The Society of Professional Journalism - 1909
http://www.fcc.gov/ The Federal Communications Commission