PRIVACY CLAUSE IN DANGER.

If we had to find the ethics clause that is the less respected by journalist, it would probably be the clause of privacy, especially when it concerns celebrities.

Complainant-Interviews2The editors’ code by IPSO has a specific clause for privacy which specified that journalists must respect every human being’s privacy, that pictures cannot be taken in private places without people’s consent; and that any intrusions should be justified. However when going through the articles about celebrity, most of them doe not respect the privacy clause. Continue reading

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FREEDOM OF SPEECH FOR THE PRESS

The freedom of speech for the press has been acquired, and is now cherished in western countries, however freedom of speech does not mean that journalists can say everything and anything.

After watching the video from Russell Howard on the differences of presentation of Ebola in the US and in the UK, I realize that sometimes, news are not really accurate, and because of the way the media deliver it, it can cause panic in a country. In this case, the difference is easily shown, in the UK, the news are measured about it, and made sure not to scare the public by saying that the virus can be contained, but in the US, the news heading are much more alarming:Capture d’écran 2014-11-28 à 11.55.28

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THE BBC AND THE BIAS CRITICISM

Even when you don’t give your opinions in a newspaper, sometimes your ideas can still be reflected when you report. For example, they can be found through your choice of words, images, subject, headline, quotes; the choices of anything that compose an article reflect a part of your opinion. That is what happened for the BBC concerning the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

In July 2014, the BBC has been accused of taking side with Israel during the conflict because they only reported on them and did not cover the Palestinian side of the story. It wasn’t the first time as they had already received complaints in 2012; Pro Palestinians accused the BBC of forgetting to mention the death of 1gaza_bbc_protest_46050 Palestinians and 5 Israelis during the violence in November 2012 as being a result of the blockade of Gaza. However, this year, an open letter, signed by 45, 000 people, was written in which the public denounce a coverage “pro-Israeli” and a news coverage “entirely devoid of context or background”.

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WHEN THE YOUNGEST MEET THE MEDIA.

Even if a journalist has to be objective and impartial in everything he writes, it doesn’t mean he should be insensitive and discriminatory. The work of a journalist is also to report in a way that the vulnerable groups of the society are not oppressed by the society.

Some groups of the society are considered as vulnerable, either because they have seen their ability to control their life reduced or because of who they are. These groups are defined by Chris Frost in Journalism, Ethics and Regulation (3rd Edition): “those who have their power reduced because of circumstances include victims of disaster, domestic abuse, crime, seriously sick. Those with limited power because of who they are include children and ethnic minorities.” When writing about one of them, and even if journalists can be critical on a group of people, they also have to be truthful and careful on words and pictures. Both are really powerful weapons and they can either give an honest representation or a discriminatory report.

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WORDS ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE THAT COUNTS.

Ethics in journalism focused on the facts published and their accuracy, but it doesn’t mean that it does not concern anything else than the words in an article: the pictures can also be a part of ethical problems or dilemmas.

Firstly, and even if I believe it is more about common sense, can a journalist take pictures found on social medias? We all know that when setting up an account on a social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc., our pictures might be found on the Internet by anyone; however does this mean that journalist can publish them? Can they use them? In my opinion, journalists does not have the right to take the pictures unless they asked the family, who agreed and only if it’s absolutely necessary to have a picture of the person in the article.

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FACTS, FACTS, PURE FACTS AND NOTHING ELSE

Journalism is governed by three main values that ensure its reliability for the public; these are being fast, being fair and being accurate. While the debate of deciding between being fast or accurate is still on, the absolute necessity of fairness cannot be argued.

Being fair and objective in term of journalism means that you separate the “facts” from the “opinion” to preserve the accuracy, and that, in case of a disagreement or a debate, all sides must be presented, and they must all be in the same proportion. Indeed, the only opinion that you can put in an article is the one from the people who are written about, and their ideas must be quoted, so that they are not misunderstood for the writer’s thought.

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“GET IT FIRST OR GET IT RIGHT” JACK SHAFER – REUTERS

One of the biggest ethical issues in the journalism world would be to choose between getting a story first and getting it right. As difficult as it might be to make the “right” choice, there might not even be a right choice.

Fast, faster, always faster

Getting the story first means that you will be the first one to publish it, but it can also mean that you might not have every relevant information for your article, or you may be even have wrong information that would conduct to the misinformation of the public. Being the first to publish a paper also lead to push the accuracy into the background; so which one is more important? We live in a world of social media, where everyone tweet what is happening when it is happening. We live in a world were the influence of the web as never been greater. The Internet is what allowed the information to be expanded anywhere in the world in the shortest time; journalism has to follow that trend and adjust their way of working to be faster and faster.

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