journalism and Ethics

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's February 2008

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Journalists and the media have an incredible responsibility that involves informing the public and keeping them up to date on important news and current affairs in an accurate and unbiased manner . In recent times, this task has become exceedingly complicated as most journalists have to walk a fine line between integrity and commerce. Hard decisions are made every day. Sometimes these decisions involve choosing not to air or print certain information or to provide information that is not meant for public consumption at that time. It can involve breaking the law and it always involves influencing the public on some level. There is a contrast between printing everything that is known, selecting information to disregard, and presenting information that is simply false. This difference has an impact on society. Media personnel representing a major bias also have an affect on facts that are being analyzed by the masses. This essay will look at the importance of accurate and unbiased reporting, its affect on society and the difficulties associated with it.

?Journalists are trained to operate under a professional code of values and ethics?? states a representative for the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance.

According to the MEAA, each individual in the media is aware of their code of ethics.

An important ethical concern of the association is that journalists need to be accountable to their readers, listeners, viewers, and each other. They are responsible to ?report and interpret honestly, striving for accuracy, fairness and disclosure of all essential facts? (Australian Journalists? Association Code of Ethics, 2003, p. 1) The association does not permit the deliberate misuse of information. Not only that, but ?disclose conflicts of interest that affect, or could be seen to affect, the accuracy, fairness or independence of your journalism? (Australian Journalists? Association Code of Ethics,