Balancing the Scales: Delving into Ethics in Journalism

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Respect for Persons in Journalism Ethics

One ethics code that has been mentioned in chapter 6 is respect for persons. Essentially, a journalist ought to diligently seek out the subjects that they wish to publish for the purpose of giving them the opportunity to respond to any allegations that they might impose upon them. A journalist should not use their emotions towards a particular person to tarnish their name or publish something against that person which is not factual. Therefore, the journalist should conduct their research to acquire facts so that they can establish something that is true and unbiased. Additionally, the journalist should also give the subject room to respond to any allegations that are made against them so that they can have a chance of clearing their name before the news is published. This is the responsibility of the journalist as well as the attitude that they should have as they take on assignments or articles.

Violation of Ethics: BuzzFeed's Editor Ben Smith

Recently in US, one journalist that went against this code of ethics is BuzzFeed’s editor Ben Smith. Specifically, Smith published a full article that was essentially based on unverified and uncorroborated work, which was gathered from third party intelligence. Even though Smith does not like Trump, he went overboard by publishing the article that was meant to tarnish the name of the elected president. This was against the ethics code of conduct that calls for journalists to respect every individual. Consequently, the journalist should have called Trump so that he can ascertain whether the information that was written was true or not. He would have allowed the subject the opportunity to respond to the allegations as this would adhere to the ethics code.

September 11, 2023

Philosophy Sociology


Communication News media

Subject area:

Ethics Journalism News Media

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