Sunday, December 04, 2005

 

Ethics assignment

In the journalism field, a reporter has an ethical duty to the public they provide news with. This same responsibility applies to sources they use for stories and the news outlets they work for. This ethical responsibility applies to reporters in all mediums of news, whether it's online, in a newspaper, or on television. As the field of journalism continues to grow there are different standards that are being set for different mediums and ones that remain in place despite the source that the news story comes from.

All reporters need to be aware of copyright, defamation and privacy laws. Plagiarism is never tolerated in any medium of journalism and all reporters have a duty to be honest, as they are dealing with the public interest. Even though these different mediums of news share many ethical qualities they are interpreted differently by whether they broadcasted, printed in a newspaper or published online.

For online reporters there are many standards that are being developed. Linking to different sites will not only protect the reporter against plagiarism but give readers more information. Ethics in online journalism almost require reporters to be more responsible. By taking readers to your sources you are never hiding anything. In a sense though, this is a double edged sword because sources have the right to remain silent. As reporters, we have to respect our sources. This brings up the Judith Miller case. Miller was a New York Times reporter who was jailed for refusing to reveal her sources. If Miller would have written an online story and linked one of her sources, she would have jeopardized this individual's career.

Television news reports have the highest ethical standard and I think this is deserving because children have such easy access to it. Sources that televsion reporters use are often viewed by the public and this eliminates the problem that occured with Judith Miller. There are also many understood standards that apply to broadcast reporters. These ethical issues have also evolved with the changing journalism field.

No matter what medium a reporter works for there are standards that must be followed. Professional journalists can report the news, inform the public, and be respected by co-workers if they simply follow ethical standards.

For more information:
  • Media Ethics Online
  • Ethical Issues in Online Journalism

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