With the recent scandal of Rupert Murdoch and Britain’s tabloid newspaper, News of the World, bringing a sense of astonishment and revolt to people all over the globe this is a prime time to talk about journalism ethics in today’s media. The communities of journalists are under intense pressure to perform their duties in an ethical manner.
Journalism Freedom and Pressure
Most journalists feel the stress of deadlines and extreme rivalry for big stories. In times like these it can be tempting for reporters to succumb to situations where ethics can be compromised. In moments of stress it can be quite tempting to succumb to pressure.
Democratic countries give journalists today remarkable freedom in reporting. But their responsibilities to report the news in an unbiased fashion should never be abused. Reporting objectively should be every journalist’s primary goal. Personal agendas and self-interest and promotion should be avoided at all cost.
When Mistakes are Made Corrections should be Prominent
No matter how hard journalists try to be accurate and fair, mistakes will eventually be made. Readers deserve the truth. Correcting any errors should be done immediately. Waiting for someone to request that a correction be made is not an option.
When corrections are published they should be in a prominent place—not hidden with small print in an obscure location. Having corrections in the same location or broadcasted at a specific time slot will allow audiences to locate them quickly.
First Amendment Rights for Journalists
As we all know the First Amendment permits the press to independently scrutinize the powers that be and our society. The public is served by gathering and distributing news to inform the people. This should allow the people to make their own judgments on politics, news, and current events.
Journalists have been given a multitude of rights but it is up to them to decide what is right to do.