Religion Essay

1508 words - 6 pages

In 1999, police officers killed a man who they were chasing for three-consecutive hours. While he was being chased, five California TV helicopters broadcasted the event live, and the entire public, including his family, saw his death. The Church’s teaching reveals whether the live broadcasting of violent acts is ethical or unethical.
Throughout the years the media has increased the reporting of real violent acts, but they are not beneficial to the common good due to the negative effects it has on human dignity. Firstly, the Catechism Of The Catholic Church teaches that all media is limited to what the common good requires. To illustrate, Pope Paul VI says that, “The information provided by the media is at the service of the common good” (CCC 2494). This shows that all information disclosed by the media must be beneficial to the common good. Secondly, the Catechism states that all media that is broadcasted to the public must never oppose the common good. For example Pope Paul VI says the, “[the media] must adjust their economic, political or artistic and technical aspects so as never to oppose the common good” (Inter Mirifica 11). Revealing that the media must not disclose any information that may “oppose the common good”. Thirdly, the media releases wanton violent acts, which undermine the value of human dignity. For instance, the Catechism Of The Catholic Church teaches that, “Social justice can be obtained only in respecting the transcendent dignity of man” (CCC 1929). This means that “real” news reports can only be beneficial to the common good if they respect the dignity of man. Lastly, The Catechism Of The Catholic Church teaches that no matter what physical or mental state the person(s) are in the media must still respect their dignity. For example, the Catechism says that, “The bodies of the dead must be treated with respect and charity” (CCC 2300). This shows that instead of demeaning the person(s) dignity through media they should be “treated with respect and charity”. In conclusion, the media must show more respect towards human dignity instead of trying to make a profit and increase ratings out of broadcasting real violent acts.
The media uses the human right to information to broadcast real violent acts consciously, even though our right to information is above their duty to filter gratuitous violence. Generally, the media abuses the human right to information by broadcasting unwarranted violence. For instance, in the Inter Mirifica Pope Paul VI states that, “In society men have a right to information… however, the news itself that is communicated should always be true and complete, within the bounds of justice and charity” (Inter Mirifica 5). The Church teaches that the news that is broadcasted to the public must be limited to only that of which shows both justice and charity. Furthermore, the media uses the human right to information as a tool. For example, the Second Vatican Counsel say’s, “Individuals can use these means (of...

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