Media and Its Responsibilities
Soc120: Introduction to Ethics and Social Responsibility
June 7, 2015
Media and Its Responsibilities
Growing up we are told that lying is bad and that telling the truth no matter the consequence is always the right thing to do. As we grow up we learn the difference between a bold faced lie, which always causes more damage than telling the truth, and a little white lie, which usually causes little to no harm. For example lying about stealing money from your dads’ wallet and blaming it on someone else is a bold faced lie and the other person usually faces consequences that they don’t deserve. Telling your three year daughter ...view middle of the document...
The phrase “do you swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth” should be used when newscasters are speaking about issues involving things such as war and the economy. By using a deontological approach the news could be told using half-truths or the whole truth it is the reasoning why it is told that way. If they told a half truth or a white lie the consequences of that action would not be relevant as to why it is being told rather than their duty to do what they believe is right. Lying is wrong, but if you don’t know that they are lying to you then would it really be considered wrong? This is the problem with media today, news companies are doing their duty to inform us as to what is going on but don’t consider the consequence of leaving information out. For example a historical landmark is in need of repair but it is too expensive so people start asking where to donate money to help fix it. Now the goal for a certain news station is to provide the public with information on how to donate to that certain cause and that is if they buy this t-shirt from a certain place then those proceeds will go to that said cause. What they don’t tell you is that 50% of that money goes to the said t-shirt place. Now is this wrong to leave out? If the news anchor feels that it is doing no harm then it is okay, the store needs to make a profit as well to keep their business afloat. But people are buying them thinking all the money is going to a cause so they are being lied to and that isn’t okay either. Emotivism plays a part in this as well; it is up to whomever and their personal feelings on the matter to decide what is being said and how to fix the problem if someone were to find out.
Another way the media distributes its news stories is by using the utilitarianism approach. They give a false sense of hope to benefit the greater good of the people. From a media stand point it is always better to keep society as calm as possible then it is to keep them informed on important subject matter. A teacher in a small town is charged with attempted murder but they don’t say what school nor the teacher involved, this benefits the greatest good by not getting the community in an uproar about the situation. As time goes on it is eventually figured out which school and what teacher but it doesn’t get spread across the news, only social media where everyone has the right to say what they want about the situation. The utilitarian approach however is not the best way to go about telling the news. Things like that can back fire and have the opposite effect on a community, like Ferguson, MO. The media leaves out some details but it gets leaked on social media which fuels the fire and ultimately can lead to disaster.
Things like this have been happening over and over especially when a story breaks out that a police officer has shot a citizen but things like this happen all of the time, it is part of the job as a police officer. Recently there have been many...