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Controversial Issues in Entertainment Paper - Essay Example

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Controversial Issues in Entertainment Paper

Since discussions on such topics are open to public the questions regarding its ethicality are disputable. According to Kuypers (2002) “Controversial issues are news, and for news we look to the press." (p. 1). This essay aims to discuss the various issues and debates surrounding the coverage of controversial issues / news by the media. For the purpose of this study, the recent highly dramatic photo of a subway train bearing down on a man who was pushed off the platform, published by the New York Post on front page is used. The highly graphic depiction sparked widespread debates and criticisms condemning the unethical publication of the image, the misuse of the freedom of press, and insulting the dignity of humanity. Nature of controversy: On December 4, 2012 The New York Post published a photo on its front page, sensationally titled "Pushed on the subway track, this man is about to die. DOOMED" (See Appendix Fig. 1) Immediate after the sensational publication of the disturbing image by the newspaper, wide-ranging debates and criticisms surrounding the ethics in photojournalism and dignity of humanity began pouring in from all quarters of the society. The criticisms mainly questioned the photographer's choice of action in the face of adversity. The intent of the photographer, R. Umar Abbasi was questioned raising serious concerns over the incident, particularly since he chose to capture and then sell the image to New York Post, rather than do the obvious – i.e. intervene and try to help the man. The inaction of the photographer highlighted his apparent apathy towards the victim, inviting severe criticisms concerning his lack of judgment and gross violation of human rights. The publication of the photo by the New York Post on the front page also called for debates and criticisms surrounding the blatant use of liberty of the press by the publication. The news journalists and photographers are bound by a strict code of ethics and good conduct which entails them to act prudently towards an individual or group and adhere to the standards of morality and principles normally attributed to and deserved by the humanity. According to the National Press Photographers Association's Code of Ethics: "Photographic and video and images can reveal great truths, expose wrongdoing and neglect, inspire hope and understanding and connect people around the globe through the language of visual understanding. Photographs can also cause great harm if they are callously intrusive or are manipulated" (NPPA (2012) Although the publication of the photo did not in any way violate the code of ethics, it however did cross the line of human dignity, especially considering that the graphic image was published on the front page. The photo was used since it was ‘newsworthy’, and such images / shocking news items are quick to catch the audience’s attention, as is apparent from the widespread reactions garnered overnight from all aspects of society including journalists and citizens alike. Soon after the publication of the photo by the New York Post, other newspapers and tabloids as well as the television media covered the incident with varied reactions on the issue. Most of the print and visual media condemned the publication of the graphic image but continued to cover the story as more and more videos and images captured by ...Show more

Summary

Controversial issues in entertainment "Give me lust, baby Flash Give me malice. Flash Give me rampant intellectualism as a coping mechanism" Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters Introduction: Entertainment programming comprises of a major chunk of the mass media today…
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Controversial Issues in Entertainment Paper essay example
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