Religion Essay

Religion Essay

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In 1999, police officers killed a man who they were chasing for three-consecutive hours. While he was being chased, five California TV helicopters broadcasted the event live, and the entire public, including his family, saw his death. The Church’s teaching reveals whether the live broadcasting of violent acts is ethical or unethical.
Throughout the years the media has increased the reporting of real violent acts, but they are not beneficial to the common good due to the negative effects it has on human dignity. Firstly, the Catechism Of The Catholic Church teaches that all media is limited to what the common good requires. To illustrate, Pope Paul VI says that, “The information provided by the media is at the service of the common good” (CCC 2494). This shows that all information disclosed by the media must be beneficial to the common good. Secondly, the Catechism states that all media that is broadcasted to the public must never oppose the common good. For example Pope Paul VI says the, “[the media] must adjust their economic, political or artistic and technical aspects so as never to oppose the common good” (Inter Mirifica 11). Revealing that the media must not disclose any information that may “oppose the common good”. Thirdly, the media releases wanton violent acts, which undermine the value of human dignity. For instance, the Catechism Of The Catholic Church teaches that, “Social justice can be obtained only in respecting the transcendent dignity of man” (CCC 1929). This means that “real” news reports can only be beneficial to the common good if they respect the dignity of man. Lastly, The Catechism Of The Catholic Church teaches that no matter what physical or mental state the person(s) are in the media must still respect ...


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...s and dignity of” the person(s) must be always respected. Thus, the media must take into consideration the harm they may cause to the public and the loss of respect for human dignity.
To conclude, the media's coverage of real violent acts in the news does not benefit the common good. The media uses the human right to information as a tool to broadcast as much news as possible for profit. They do not censor any of the gratuitous violence. The journalists are left to blame due to the responsibility they hold when disclosing the information they have learned to the public. Also, the uncensored violence can harm the public and it disrespects the dignity of the person(s). Over the years the media’s perspective of what “news” is has changed drastically, from information to entertainment. No matter where you go or what you watch, for some reason there is always violence.

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