Malcolm Forbes was a famous billionaire. While alive he never admitted to being a homosexual. To the press the topic of homosexuality is usually ignored. But after the death of Forbes the question of why that is arose.
“Outing” is a term use to explain the process of pushing someone to admit their homosexuality. Conservatives believe that ones sexual orientation should be kept out of the press. And up until last year the press had adhered to this belief.
Some now argue that once you have agreed to enter the life of the rich and famous you loss that right to privacy. This is a complete turn around from the previous 60s philosophy that celebrities do no evil, and if so the press knows not to report it.
This article is told by a reported who was assigned to “out” Forbes after his death. With this assignment he faced an ethical issue. Is it right for reporters to reveal the sexual orientation of a celebrity, without permission?
Rawls veil of ignorance is a model one can use to decide what the proper action is to this ethical issue. He believes that the view of the weaker party must be included in the decision, and in most cases get even more consideration. Rawl would suggest that the reporter put himself into the shoes of Forbes. Only thinking of how Forbes would feel the reporter can grab an idea of how to ethically handle the situation. This exercise helps gain an unbiased conclusion. But one must not hide behind this veil. Here must be room for ethical discussions.
The liberty that journalist possess is also taken into account. Reporters have a duty to report the news. But they also must consider others. And even though Forbes is now deceased, he is still a victim. Any article published about h...
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...eds to know. A good journalist can tell the difference between the right to know, the need to know, and the want to know. The only one of those relevant is the want to know. The public would want to know this type of story, but only to use as a piece of gossip. And it is unethical to gossip in a negative way over a deceased man. The public does not have a right to know the sexual orientation of a celebrity. Yes, celebrities do submit themselves to the limelight. But there must eventually be a line this is not crossed. And lastly the public does not need to know this type of information. Knowing a famous man/or woman’s sexual orientation is not going to protect the public. The only news the public needs to know is that news that personal affects their lives. And that is why reporting on Forbes sexuality is unethical. The media is not meant to be a source of gossip.
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