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Journalism’s Codes Of Ethics And Analysis Of The

2428 words - 10 pages

I. Introduction In examining the rules which are supposed to guide the behavior of journalists, we find that they are very comprehensive and do take into account the specific characteristics of the mass media environment. That is, they address all possible unethical behavior which journalists can possibly practice. The ?Code of Ethics? published by the Society of Professional Journalists, covers thirty-seven points under four main headings: a. ?Seek Truth and Report It? b. ?Minimize Harm? c. ?Act Independently? d. ?Be Accountable? The points covered under these headings range from the responsibility of journalists to carefully choose their language so as not to mislead the public, or sensationalize an issue, to responsibility towards the person, or event, you are reporting on. That is, media ethics demand that journalists do not accuse people without solid evidence, and ?show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news coverage.? In total, media ethics are comprehensively defined, and supposedly guarded by a journalist?s own sense of integrity, and respect for the truth and objectivity. Additionally, the ethical code explicitly states that journalists who do not respect the ethics of their profession should be punished. That is, ?journalists are accountable? to the public, and are responsible for every word they write.In setting down ethical guidelines for journalists, this is supposedly to ensure that the media carries out its duty of 'informing? the public of issues without actually making up their minds for them. That is, to inform correctly and honestly, in such a way that readers will gain an accurate understanding of their world and societies. The point is that the media is the most influential instrument in transmitting culture and understanding. It is through the media that we gain a sense of cultural identity and view ourselves as members of a society, with responsibilities and duties towards that society. If the media abused this power, it could basically create a distortion in our perceptions, with a negative effect on society itself. For example, when it creates and spreads negative stereotypes about races, such as the Arabs, the media is basically pushing public opinion and American society towards an anti-Arab attitude. This has a negative impact on the relations between Arab and American societies, and seriously harms the concept of cultural understanding. In other words, media ethics ultimately aim to ensure objectivity, whereby the public will acquire an accurate understanding of their society, and world in general.II. Research Question and Hypothesis This paper will attempt to ask, and answer, the following question: ?Do Egyptian journalists abide by media code of ethics, and if they don?t, why not?? Our hypothesis, or thesis statement, will be as follows: The fact that journalists do not abide by media code of ethics is directly due to this code being both idealistic and unrealistic, in addition to which the...

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