Journalism 's Social Responsibility And The Lack Of Public Trust Essay

Journalism 's Social Responsibility And The Lack Of Public Trust Essay

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10. In a December 2013 Gallup poll, newspaper reporters and TV reporters ranked slightly above lawyers and slightly below local politicians in terms of the public 's view on honesty and ethical standards. Only 21 percent of those polled said newspaper reporters had very high or high ethical standards, and 20 percent said the same of TV reporters. Write an essay based in mass media theory on why the public lacks trust in journalists and journalism.

What’s the Deal With Media?: Journalism’s Social Responsibility and the Lack of Public Trust

New communications technologies and scandals of reporters fabricating stories have influenced the public’s perception and trust in the media. In 2013, Gallup released a poll that asked Americans to rate the honesty and ethical standards of various professions. Compared to nurses at 82%, only 21% and 20% of Americans found newspaper reporters and TV reporters, respectively, trustworthy and having the highest ethical standards (Swift, 2013). Limited-effects theory and social responsibility theory can help to understand why there is a steady decline of public trust in regards to journalists and journalism.
Technology has changed the way news is disseminated and how quickly media can release its content. People can now receive information straight from their smart phone or mobile device in an instant. New technologies have forced media into competing with each other to be the first to break the latest story, using new avenues media has had yet to adapt. “Whenever important new media technologies appear, they destabilize existing media industries, forcing large-scale and often very rapid restructuring” (Baran & Davis, 2009, p.48). It can be challenging for media companies to adapt or ...

... middle of paper ... faith in the media’s accuracy because of their partnership with the government, seeing the news as propaganda.
A reputable journalist or media company can quickly diminish after admitting to fabrication, and it may take years to rebuild a trusting relationship with the public. Re-evaluating one’s own ethical standards and following basic procedures, such as fact checking, will avoid unethical behavior and scandal. Taking the time to understand new communications technologies will also be beneficial, as learning new trends can lead to effective use. While inadvertently misinforming the public is bound to happen to even the most careful of editors, becoming familiar with new technologies before immediately using it will also prevent the likeliness of inaccurate news.

References - American Psychological Association, 6th edition

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