Media Coverage of the Presidential Campaign

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An important case study subject that relates to journalism ethics is how today's news broadcasts and papers report the presidential campaign. More specifically, how journalism ethics affects the reports covering the republican debates and primaries. Additionally, the media has taken a high interest in reporting coverage about republican candidate Rick Santorum. Not only are the republican primaries important with the upcoming presidential campaign against President Barrack Obama, but also because the candidates provide interesting news coverage.

The media seems to portray candidate Santorum in the light of a strong, evangelical, Christian candidate. Although the other republican candidates and the current president also practice their Christian faith, the media focuses on how Santorum has chosen to incorporate his beliefs into his campaign. This type of campaign appeals to audiences alike, who may not agree with President Obama's current choices in practicing his Christianity. Conversely, his focus on religion does not appeal to many audiences, who want to focus more on the economy and external issues. Ultimately, with such a wide array of opinions about Santorum's focus on faith, the media fails to provide coverage on other areas of interest regarding Santorum's policies.

Some articles provide commentary on these exigencies faced by journalism, but continue to report the unethical coverage. For instance, a recent article from The Star Phoenix named “Santorum's 'Satan' Speech Resurrected” provides audiences with a report on Santorum’s speech four years ago at a religious university addressing the power of good and evil in the United States. This article followed the bandwagon reporting of casting candidate Sant...

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...This coverage of “I-It” material causes audiences to thrive on media that incorporates baggage of ideologies and rhetoric. Therefore, the problem is not how the relationship of “Thou” turned into an “It,” but whether or not it is possible to turn this relationship back with another. As journalism is defined as the investigation and reporting of events and trends, communication ethics are not automatically questioned. In journalism, dialogue is purposely reported with isolated qualities. The reports are required to be contextual, confined by a certain time and space. Unfortunately, it seems impossible or extremely difficult at this time, for journalism to create a direct, interpersonal relationship between the material and audience. Therefore, it seems unlikely that Buber’s ideas about turning “I-It” concepts in to “I-Thou” relationships will become possible.