Thursday, March 13, 2014

Media Ethics Issues & Cases: Ch.6

Mass Media in a Democratic Society: Keeping a Promise

There are three topics my mother taught me to always avoid in conversations. The first is money, the second religion and third politics. I've found that with the right company, you can get away with a lot. However, as a personal preference I tend to steer clear of politics as a general rule. It's not because I'm bored by the topic or uninterested, rather I simply don't know my facts. I think I can speak for a lot of people when I say that facts and truth regarding politics are hard to come by. This chapter does a great job of highlighting how the mass media effects our understanding of politics and agendas as a whole.

Politics aren't politics anymore because of the mass media. Appealing to the masses doesn't mean anything. Everything is a ploy to get votes. It's so frustrating how campaigns are run by "political characters", rather than actual politicians. Politicians aren't people who possess real values or have a legitimate opinion anymore because an opinion, in part, would mean it might disagree with the majority. Therein lies my biggest qualm; politicians are losing themselves to the media by stretching values in a way that will appease the majority. Honestly, if you have to stretch your value system and "perform" for the camera as this character, I don't want you leading our country.

In which case, I agree with Bok that an investigation of private character is necessary for the public to know. I think the criteria listed is valid as well. Invading the privacy of someone who prospectively wants to run our country is a "need to know" factor. However, I don't agree with campaigning tactics that are utilized to sabotage another candidates' credibility. If it happens to be the case that one candidate recognizes the other is truly a bad person, leave it to reporters and journalist to expose the truth. Hardcore truth is what we, as a public domain, are missing.

The chapter says that "most ethicists agree that the media's primary function is to provide citizens with information that will allow them to make informed political choices." I just have a hard time seeing past the drama of it all. It is a constant "food fight" between politicians trying to look better than the other, grazing over serious matters while they batt their eyes.

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