Truth And Honesty In The Media

3414 words - 14 pages

Truth and Honesty in the MediaIn a world surrounded by mass media, we depend on truthful and honest information to form accurate conceptions of current events and issues. Journalists, editors, producers and broadcasters should do their best to convey information that reflects the truth. Truth and the public's right to information should be the basic foundation for all journalists. One reason for the importance of truth in the media is that it demonstrates a respect for people as ends rather than as tools to be manipulated. In other words, it is not used to influence or control society but rather to benefit it. The public depends on the media to discover and report societal problems and issues that they themselves would never have the chance to know about. The media is the one way to get a message that is of extreme importance across a nation within minutes. Another important aspect of truth is the building of trust between individuals and society's institutions. When the public knows they can trust the media and they are honest in their reporting, their trust grows more for the society as a whole. Also truth is essential to the democratic process. In a democratic society, the media is the primary source for truthful, accurate and meaningful information. It also tends to be fair and avoids biases. Failure to promote truth and honesty will most likely result in society's loss of confidence, respect and trust in the media. (Day, 81.)The news media plays a very significant role in today's society. Millions of people turn to the media for the latest news and information. The media is responsible for preparing and delivering news programs accurately and honestly to maintain public interest. They are also responsible in evaluating the newsworthiness of all broadcast items and recognizing the public's right to know. According to The Arizona Republic in Phoenix, "Facts should be presented honestly, fully and fairly. This applies to news stories, columns, editorials, headlines, graphics, illustrations, captions, photographs, layouts and any other editorial component. Editors, photographers, and artists should always strive to inform readers accurately and represent situations fairly." The Journal Gazette states, "Every effort must be made to assure that the news content is accurate, free from bias and in context, and that all sides are presented fairly. (www.presswise. Org.uk/Accuracy.htm-12/3/02).Regardless of age, the media today in one way or another affects everyone. Since the news media pertains to local, national, and international events, these stories become of an extreme importance to millions.In the news world, there is major controversy over the media's role in presenting the truth. In favor of the media, many will argue that the public has a right or need to know certain information and that reality should be presented as precisely as possible. Also, they believe that revealing certain stories will help prevent or deter similar situations from...

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