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Do journalists have an ethical responsibility towards future audiences as producers of the first draft of history? - Essay Example

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Journalism & Communication
Pages 9 (2259 words)


Journalism is a complex process that raises a tirade of ethical issues in numerous ways. Every decision journalists take, and every sentence they write; has ethical implications. Journalists are seen as ambassadors of information; someone, in some part of the world, is affected by each piece of information they give out. …

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Do journalists have an ethical responsibility towards future audiences as producers of the first draft of history?

Do journalists have an ethical responsibility towards future audiences as producers of the first draft of history?

Information is an increasingly important resource and journalists play a crucial role in producing and disseminating that information. Technology has made broadcasting information easier, which makes information more powerful, and therefore makes journalists the carriers of this power. Journalists have influential power on the public; their views can shape decisions and recollections of past events. Given the freedom of expression, journalists now have the power to hold the government accountable for their misgivings, they are able to raise questions on behalf of the public and subsequently force the government to correct their mistakes. They can make history, alter how we remember history and choose what not to include in history. Journalism, Ethics and Society In a democratic world, journalist have the responsibility of reporting corruption, abuse of power and any other item of information that the public has the right to know. They have a special political purpose to seek the truth, and resist the pressure to convey distortions.

Journalism is indeed a first draft of memory, as Zarecka (1994) states, thatthe elements of the past that are remembered are worth knowing about. Hence journalists must seek to solidify the pieces of information that are deemed to go down in history books, and to conceptualize them by depicting them through mass media. ...
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