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Friday, 28th April 2017
 

MEDIA ETHICS

The huge phone hacking scandal is raising a lot of questions about the ethics of media organisations. These questions are:

  • Do the media have any boundaries when invading people's privacy?
  • Is breaking the law or personal rights purely a question of money?
  • Why were editors so keen to get scoops on these stories - just to sell papers? Did they not have a conscience?
  • What are the values of journalists when they are appointed, and how do they change once they become famous or well-known, or work for a certain paper?
  • The Press Complaints Commission is there to protect the public, and this clearly shows that regulation should never be in the hands of the media.
  • How do we police the ethics of media?
  • Would editorial diversity in terms of editors from different cultural backgrounds, reduce the chances of such media breaches? At present, there is hardly any editorial diversity in the media.

When influence increases, power increases. The News of the World has a circulation of some 3 million, one of the largest in the country. This power, instead of being used to improve society and behaviour, is actually being exercised in an opposite way. It is undermining behaviour. It is corrupting society. It is bribing the police - as if it were above the law. This is the height of media arrogance.

And a mono-cultural media, can easily become arrogant and deluded, as the challenge to authority reduces. We recommend a strong push for editorial diversity in the media, and a clear statement of values by each company, and how these values and behaviours are being monitored. Also external regulation of the media is very important for a safer and ethical society.

Article added on 7th July 2011 at 8:33am

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