Media Ethics Questions for Discussion
Photo on page 397 of convicted killer Richard Allen Davis –Should the newspaper have run the photo on the front page or not?
Should TV stations cover live car chases when the police are involved? • What about the incident mentioned on page 396 – Daniel V. Jones? • How about the politician who killed himself (page 397)? • What ethical issues are at play here?
What are issues raised by the advent of new technology? • Smaller cameras. • Instant coverage of just about everything. • Being able to alter images such as photos and video to fool even experts • What’s wrong with TV reenactments? • What’s wrong with checkbook journalism?
Accuracy and Fairness • Do you think the press is accurate and fair? • What exactly does that mean? • What about using crude language that is accurate? OK? Not OK? • What about photos that are accurate but horribly graphic? • Look for examples where the media got it wrong. Why did this happen? (R. Jewell case for example – page 400)
Nora Ephron on the fire escape photo: • “The real lesson of the Boston photographs is not the danger that editors will be forgetful of reader reaction, but that they will continue to censor pictures of death precisely because of that reaction. . . .Death happens to be one of life’s main events. And it is irresponsible – and more than that, inaccurate—for newspapers to fail to show it . . . “
Damaging Media Errors • Who is Richard Jewell? • Why was his case so important? • How is the Dallas Cowboys story similar to the Duke University Lacrosse story? • Are there differences? • What are some solutions?
Where the Media Goes Bad • Who plagiarizes and how? • Who is faking stories? • How is sensitive information Illegally obtained. • Pack mentality – what is that?
Should the media withhold information? • Public’s need to know versus an individual’s right to privacy? • Arthur Ashe – AIDS • C.K. McClatchy … had AIDS but not the cause of death. What if it had been, say, Chicken Pox? • President’s health? FDR – Polio. • Invasion of privacy?
The Princess Diana Conundrum • The Weekly Sun Newspaper ran a cover photo of Lady Diana and circulation rose 20% • Owners and editors noticed that each time they ran a Diana photo, circulation jumped. • Hence, Diana became a media target.
Editing vs. Censorship • Does an editor have a right to kill a story – yes. • Does the government have the right to make an editor kill a story – no.
Media in Wartime • http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chi-0604220281apr23,0,4794247.story