The Ethics of Journalism

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Shattered Glass raises the following ethical questions in the field of journalism:

a) How do deception and fabrication affect journalism in a working community?

b) Should journalists create articles based on their opinions rather than facts?

c) What happens when a media house discovers that some writers' stories are based on lies?

All the ethical concerns raised above have one common objective, which is to know whether journalism should be based on fiction or the truth. In Shattered Glass, Stephen Glass (Hayden Christensen) who is an editor and writer at The New Republic fabricated at least a dozen articles (Shattered Glass). His stories were all interesting such as the one of a teenage hacker who penetrated the computer network systems of corporations and then pretends to be the problem solver by selling security software. Ethics in journalism should enable writers to come up with stories based on facts but not fiction. That is the reason journalists should take their time to investigate a specific matter before writing articles. Were it not for Adam Penenberg (Steve Zahn), the writer of Web-based Forbes Digital Tool; no one would have identified that Glass' stories were based on fiction.

Shattered Glass changed my perception of the extent journalists can go to protect the reputation of magazines and media houses. Editors should not allow the publication of stories based on fiction. Journalists are required to enlighten people about what is happening in the world, which is why their articles should be realistic. In the first few minutes, (1:12-9:39), we see Glass explaining to other staffs about some publications (Shattered Glass). One of them was the Hack Heaven where he gives a story of a young cybercriminal who breached the computer systems of large corporations and then provided solutions at a cost. Overall, journalism should be a reflection of the society but not a predictor of events based on fiction.

Work Cited

Shattered Glass. 2003, Accessed 4 Oct. 2018.

September 11, 2023



Communication News media

Subject area:

Journalism News

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