Corporate ownership of the media is a situation whereby media organizations pledge loyalties to their immeasurable investor. For example in this regard the media organization co-owned by the electronics company.
In such a scenario, upholding of journalistic ethics for the purpose of the information hungry public faces a litmus assessment.
In doing such a story, I would apply the notion of confidentiality of sources and the newsmakers i.e. the electronics company will remain unknown though I will divulge that a certain electronics company's refrigerators are fire hazards. By this I will not only give the information about the implications of buying refrigerators that are prone to fire but also offer advice on potential customers to be vigilant when purchasing such appliances. Source confidentiality helps in the avoidance of reprisals or victimization of employees who disclose information to the press or the journalists themselves risk their lives. Hoynes and Croteau (2003) argue that such measures amount to self censorship or at most corporate censorship depending on the revenue the media organization gets from the electronics company advertizing. (p.178)
"Journalists alter their own behavior for various reasons, corporate censorship, in which managers and executives constrain the efforts of their employees arising from conflict of interests" (p. 178)
Since many media managers have no journalistic training, acknowledging the ownership of the electronics company would amount to conflicts of interests between the two organizations, therefore, I would request for police investigation over the matter, then report from the police angle of the story clearly alienating myself from the organization. By this I mean remaining impartial as a measure to maintain high levels of journalistic principles.
Straubhaar, LaRose and Davenport (2009) front the appointment of an ombudsman, who is well acquainted with journalistic code of conduct, would effectively help in solving such issues. The ombudsman would be an inside critic of journalistic work safeguarding the integrity of the media organization without compromising the public right to information.
The media is obliged to provide development oriented content to the public in a bid to cushion them against underdevelopment. By so doing, the media should focus on advancement driven news. For instance showing the public what other countries or regions have done to reduce the unemployment index.
Moreover, media should avoid the proliferation of violent news coverage so as to establish a society free from conflict habiting in peace. Through such initiatives the media would help in the prevention of violence.
The media plays an integral role in the change in culture, i.e. people's way of living. For instance the news media has immensely changed the culture of music or even abandoning certain cultures. This entails changing of dress codes, dialects among others. Allan (2004) argues that the choice of words by new readers impact much on the audiences perception of the culture.
"Referring to one and the same event with the words slaughter, murder, killing or slaughtering" (p.88) it depicts the places culture, maybe of harshness or kindness.
According to Russell (2006) news media's social role involves providing information to the public for social unity in expressing their precedence.
"Underlying mission of news media is to provide the information and arguments that enables societies to work through their disagreements and to know their priorities" (p.3
The online world entails the new media commonly known as the internet. The internet has given rise to citizen journalism, whereby any literate human, other factors constant, can disseminate information on occurrences through the 'globalised telephone' the internet.
However, such actions shelter key concerns on credibility, ethical and legal considerations. For instance it would be unethical to display nude pictures of prominent individuals or in the sense of spreading the information, legal aspects such as defamation, libel and slander also come into force in such scenarios. Therefore, emphasis and challenges of everyone a publisher model should be addressed. (Artwick, 2004)
"An internet news site includes a forum for public discussion of community issues. Some of the posting are vulgar and attack individuals by name. Such should be censored" (p.43)
Information delivery methods include television, radio, newspapers, the new media, and billboards among others. These methods are reach-effective that is they reach huge numbers of audiences within the shortest time possible. Although they are reach effective, they are also detrimental in the spread of false information due to their bullet nature.
The media metamorphosis has since the introduction of analogue broadcasting to the current new media such the internet. In conclusion, journalistic ethics must be upheld for the realization of a more dynamic informed public.
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