Ethics and personal values play a major role in the media world. Every decision that has to be made involves ethical decision making. If the wrong decision is made then there can be a lot of negative consequences. However, there are four different philosophies’ that help make the decisions easier. This paper will include two different ethical cases and how the philosophies can influence the decisions that are made.
The first case is “Trial by Fire.” This case involves a 15 year old boy, who suffered burns to 90 percent of his body when his house caught fire. The story stated that Joey got these burns when he went back into the house to save his brother Danny, who was supposedly stuck in the house. The original story that was told made Joey look like a hero. However, the media had one critical fact wrong. The initial story never mentioned the “hero” story. It wasn’t until the big city media reporters got onto the story a few months later. The correct story was brought to life whenever a neighbor mentioned that the brother was not trapped in the house. Instead, he was at her house telling her that his brother was trapped in the house. When they got back over to the house Joey was standing out front and his clothes were on fire. The media created a hero out of Joey when this wasn’t the case. Due to his heroic story, money was pouring into trust funds for Joey and to build his family a new house. The ethical dilemma in this case was either to run the real story and make the family look like they lied or to keep it a secret and let the people believe that Joey was a hero. The reporter decided to run the correct story.
If it were me, I would have done the same thing that the...
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...ative philosophy would be the best fit for this case. I believe that it’s better to know the truth first then to find out something negative and false after the original story is already published. Also, it doesn’t allow for emotions to get in the way because instead the reporter would focus on what she would see fit as a universal law which in this case would be to tell the truth upfront.
In the end, ethical decisions are made in the media every day. In both cases above the reporters had to make ethical decisions. However, the public isn’t going to always agree with the decision that is made. But it’s better to follow through with what you believe is right and think should be published and not hold back. Also, by using the different philosophies publishers can focus on what they believe is right and what decisions would benefit the most amount of people possible.
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