Ethics Is A Way Of Studying Morality Essay

Ethics Is A Way Of Studying Morality Essay

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There are often several cases that pose ethical issues in regards to journalism and publication. In this instance, 18-year-old Andrea Bell’s reputation of being Youth Ambassador of Bathburg is at stake. The photos of her that were sent by Andrea’s former boyfriend, who remains anonymous, causes great risks and would require both moral and ethical considerations before taking any form of action.

For an issue such as this, there requires a certain criteria for ethical decision-making. As stated by Frost (2011: p. 11), “ethics is a way of studying morality, which allows decisions to be made when individuals face specific cases of moral dilemma.” A main issue for journalists these days are the individuals right to privacy verses the public 's right to know.

It can be argued that publishing the pictures of Miss Bell would be for the sake of public interest, as the community in Bathburg have a right to know about the Youth Ambassador that represents them. Belsey (1992) explains that it is not an invasion of privacy if the information released should already be in the public domain. If Miss Bell were doing anything untoward, the public should be notified, as her actions reflect on those look up to her. She has now become a role model to the younger public who are seen as vulnerable. IPSO’s Editors’ Code of Practice states that a journalist would need to demonstrate that the action taken would be in the public interest, and what journalistic activity was undertaken at the time of the decision.

However, in this day and age, there are concerns about the invasion of privacy, making this a grey area for journalists and writers. Images are often the most likely to cause offence. Pictures show a much more clear reality, and although they can...


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...imperatives. One key way of defining a good journalist is a reporter who is a good writer, reliable, truthful, and someone who is able to get the exclusives. This does not necessarily mean that all of these aspects are ethical, however. The balance between a good and ethical journalist is mostly distorted when dilemmas such as this arise. According to Frost (2011), a good journalist is someone who gathers topical, truthful, factual based information in a morally justifiable way.

To stoop to the notion of sensationalism is not considered good journalism. If photos were published without a source or photographer, it would be difficult to credit a picture, creating more problems for the publication. It is important to utilise and follow the Codes of Practice when it comes to the ethical side of journalism, otherwise a journalist would not be doing their job correctly.

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