Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Seven Ethical Dilemmas Journalists Face - (Wai Yan)

Journalists have a 'Code of Ethics' in which they have to follow to really be regarded as one. This 'Code of Ethics' includes areas of seeking and reporting the truth, minimizing harm, acting independently as well as being accountable. It's not a unlawful crime to not fulfill this code but it sure is in the journalist's world, where journalists are required to be ethically right as they deliver information to others. With this 'Code of Ethics', there comes problems and journalists face some perplexity. There is a group of ethical dilemmas that are rather commonly faced by journalists at many points of their time in their life as journalists. It can be known as the "Seven Ethical Dilemmas Journalists Face". There are seven of it as stated in the header, varying from 'conflict of interests', 'plagiarism', 'anonymous sources', 'offending or distasteful content', 'invasion of privacy', 'bias' and 'commitment to accuracy'. It may seem as if all are equally matched in terms of importance or they are meant to be, but in my views, there is one which is able to rule out all of the rest. It is nothing other than the journalist's commitment to accuracy.
A journalist's very main job is to deliver to you information which is true, or in other words, correct and precise information. So if the factor of accuracy is compromised in the information/ resources he delivers, is that still journalism? I don't think so and this is why I feel that this factor is of utmost importance to the other factors as it determines a journalist whether he is a 'legitimate' journalist or not, as it determines the definition of journalism. Always remember, not publishing information is almost always better than publishing inaccurate information.

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