Ethics Of Mass Media Essay

Ethics Of Mass Media Essay

One of the founding precepts and concepts of today’s journalism is the delivery of facts without having attached opinion to the kind of information that is delivered to its consumers. In fact, early on in a journalism career or in a journalism degree, future reporters, writers, and journalists are trained to recognize facts as they are and be able to deliver such content without any form of bias or self-serving opinions. Of course, it has been commented by many that one could not completely be able to detach oneself from any kind of opinion, and today’s reporters in media sources are continuously fighting off the urge to go one side over a new story (Merrill, 1997). Such a discussion is not mutually exclusive to journalism. Even the more broader category of mass media and entertainment have in one way or another a need for non-bias reporting and the delivery of entertainment without necessarily trying to impose upon consumers and viewers the morality of their own organization (Seib, 1994).

Given this, one that would eventually come to the conclusion that the only way in order to produce a nonbiased report is through the delivery of complete facts and information. The facts, as they are, is the foundation of journalism and reporting, and observing newspapers, radio, television, and even more recently Internet delivered news content, facts are always integrated into the report and post the most significant elements of any kind of mass media distribution. However, the question arises, specifically taking an example for a report that gives importance to death and how meaningful it is, whether or not there can be too much facts, especially considering the meaningfulness and sensitivity of the topic (Iggers, 1999). The answer, in short, is yes. There can be such an instance that there are too much facts without giving focus on the relevant importance of a specific topic and consider it as any other event in day-to-day living. For example, an event such as death, something which needs to be mourned and has to be given focus, good in one way be presented in a newspaper style factual reports, or in another case could be presented a more meaningful way by giving focus and shaping the text and progress towards a report that would bring about empathic feelings and give way to the importance of the event without necessarily giving bias to the report (Cohen & Elliott, 1997). Remember that in such an instance in case, the way in order for the reporter to give complete bias is not indicate essential and relevant facts but rather appeal only to the emotion of the readers. In fact, this is a reporting style that is made in many tabloids and mass theater productions all over the entertainment and news industry today. Specifically in cases where certain kinds of deaths are reported, too much focus is given on emotion rather than the identification of facts. In the end, what reporters, writers, editors, and even producers and directors of these news delivering shows must give focus is striking the delicate balance between the delivery of facts, while at the same time being able to give weight to the importance of the event and scenario (Sanders, 2003).

The next question that eventually faces us is if we as reporters need to deliver information meaningfully about death, then what are the ways that we may be able to do it? Definitely, we should not just indicate on the facts, and neither could we ignore the facts altogether in shape the article as if it is a work of fiction. Rather, there is an interesting style that is integrated into newswriting that gives emotions and gives relative weight upon events while at the same time not ignoring the essential details of the story which is the primary purpose of delivering the news article in the first place. The way to do this is through shaping the story in a “human interest” format so that all the facts are identified by the reporters, there is also focus made on family members, events surrounding the death, and the relative contributions that the person has made in life after the specific facts have been delivered. By doing so, reporters may be able to highlight the humanity of such instances and not place the event of death in the background of all of the news articles (Seib, 1994).

However, a journalist’s job, as we have already stated earlier, is not to provide a form of fiction, nor be able to arise certain kinds of forced emotions and biased conclusions to their readers and viewers. In the end, in war, as in peace, there should be no site taking by journalists, and such opinions and popular weights must be left to the readers of the report. The journalist’s job, in the end, would always be to highlight relevant and factual information — without distorting both its accuracy and using word choice in order to create such specific environment of bias — and deliver them to consumers. Also, in various instances, the job of the journalist is to be able to understand his or her readers, listeners, and viewers so that factual information is delivered to them in the best and most efficient way possible to understanding the cultural framework and background of such consumers. Even though Harken factual information is the primary mission of the journalist, we must also understand the fact that delivering number data and not adjusted information might as well be compared to academic journals and statistical tables (Merrill, 1997). In fact, one of the most essential aspects in the training process of journalists is the various methods in order to present such information so that not only would it be popular from the point of view of the media agency an organization that is hosting the news process and information Center, but also be able to address certain cultural norms and adjust such information that it may be understandable to readers.

The next questions that are required of us to answer are the various definitions and discussions of propaganda. In fact, the initial discussion was to understand a quotation and definition of what propaganda is end for us to decide if this is an accurate way to describe the process.

In reading it and comparing it with social norms and how propaganda was used and implemented at the past, we might be tempted to say that it is a very accurate definition indeed. However, at least from the point of view of what your definition is from the perspective of journalists and reporters, as well as the law, it is excessively given weight that propaganda is a negative aspect — this is done through the use of the words manipulative and such. However, this might be the only erroneous case, toward the standard definition of a propaganda is the delivery of information in order to shape perceptions, which is what might as well have been meant and delivered by the quotation. Also, to give further explanation, perhaps the best way in order to define what propaganda is in the area of journalism and information delivery is by defining what it is not (Jowett & O’Donnell, 2006). Remember that since propaganda is the shaping of various information in order to fit the original desire of the propagandist and the organization that is delivering such information to shape perceptions, the opposite of propaganda is the traditional definition of journalism — or at least what it tries to achieve by the delivery of impartial factual information. In the definition area sense of what they propaganda is, such information is shaped and changed so that there is a deliberate attempt in order to affect the decisions and perceptions, either in a small scale or in a large-scale, of a certain population (Pratkanis & Aronson, 1998).

The second question that is required of us to answer in the subject of propaganda is a question of morality. However, questions of morality are very difficult to answer because they completely dependent upon the point of view where one is approaching it. For example, approaching it from the point of view of political science and social change, the question of whether propaganda is good only if it’s desired content is good is a self-defeating argument. Remember that propaganda is made in order to not only integrate into the belief of a population a certain belief or perception, but it is also meant rather to be opposed to another kind of moral value. Given that there are two areas of concern in judging the morality of a propaganda, the ability to label it is absolutely good would be indeed a very difficult task because in this case, there is no such thing as a universal good but rather only that specific good and right morality which such began to is coming from (Cunningham, 2002). For example, propaganda created by communism from the point of view of information, literature, and news, might as well be good and positive from their point of view because of the original precepts that the propagandists are trying to spread the population. However, cost a few hundred miles and arrived at a non-communist nation, and one would immediately have the conclusion, as long as one belongs to that group, that such propaganda is not good because it goes against their own precepts.

On the other hand, another argument that we may make against the statement is that the point of view of journalists and factual information dissemination, there is never such a thing as good propaganda. Information was always be delivered and reported in the most accurate and unbiased way possible. From the opinion and point of view of journalists and newsmakers, any kind of propaganda could not be considered good because it must be up to the readers and consumers of the news to decide whether or not such events and information that fits such moral standards and could therefore be able to reduce decisions on their own (Cull, Culbert, & Welch, 2003). However, such a concept may only be applicable and practical if we have the presupposition human beings may be able to approach the opinion making and decision-making process from a logical and rational perspective without the form of bias — which we all know is untrue. However, doing the opposite, creating any kind of propaganda and information manipulation in order to affect perception, would bring about a worse effect because of the various consequences that might be brought up in such a case.

Therefore, the last question that has been required of us to answer is whether or not the definition that had been provided earlier in the questions is an example of propaganda or not. In order to answer such a question, we must approach it not only from the point of view of analysis but also from linguistics as well.

Although the definition above should have been a non-propaganda definition, the mere existence of the word manipulative poses a negative propaganda effect to the definition of propaganda in the first place. This is comparable to a more obscure self referring mathematical formula that when entered into a graphing mechanism, creates a graph of the formula itself. In the definition of the broadband that we discover above, we immediately see that it is delivering negative propaganda to propaganda as a whole. Again, however, because we have already indicated that propaganda is negative in the first place from the point of view of definition, it is not our role to indicate whether or not such a propaganda definition of propaganda is negative in the first place.


Cohen, E. D., & Elliott, D. (1997). Journalism ethics (p. 196).

Cull, N. J., Culbert, D. H., & Welch, D. (2003). Propaganda and mass persuasion (p. 479).

Cunningham, S. B. (2002). The idea of propaganda (p. 231).

Iggers, J. (1999). Good news, bad news (p. 179).

Jowett, G., & O’Donnell, V. (2006). Propaganda and persuasion (p. 422).

Merrill, J. C. (1997). Journalism Ethics (p. 248).

Pratkanis, A., & Aronson, E. (1998). Age of Propaganda (p. 352).

Sanders, K. (2003). Ethics & journalism (p. 196).

Seib, P. M. (1994). Campaigns and conscience (p. 160).

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