This Wednesday, five groups presented their ethical issue including my group. They were groups 1,2,5,6 and my group 8. I am posting this blog late because I was in the ER with a patient for 17 hours Friday and Saturday. I have received permission to post this after the deadline ASAP.
Group 1-Citizen Journalism
This presentation really impressed me. I thought the handout was super creative and engaging. This group did a great job of discussing the pros and cons of citizen journalism, while helping the class to better understand the term. As a journalist, it’s important to know that we have competition from within our in industry and from outside. With the internet, anyone and everyone has a platform for sharing information and telling news. I like how this group explained the “money” difference between professional journalists and citizen journalists. On the one had, you’d think the professionals making money would do their best to maintain their job. On the other hand, citizen journalists are not bound by money and can be more free with the information they give. Overall, this was definitely the best presentation I saw on Wednesday.
Group 2-Annonymous Sources
This group had a pretty controversial issue to research. While most people and journalists feel strongly that anonymous sources are almost always bad, there are others who say they are necessary. This group did a good job of balancing the arguments and giving examples of each. The suggestion to have at least one person confirm the source before publishing the information is the best of both worlds. You can use a source anonymonsly and have credibility because an editor or manager confirmed it. I also liked how this group provided historical examples of anonymous sources like the Pentagon Papers and the Watergate Trial.
Group 5-Ethics Online
I loved the video this group opened their presentation with. It was spot-on with their issue and really engaging. The whole discussion of mugshots and the ethics surrounding their use was really interesting. I didn’t realize websites post people’s mugshots and charge them money to have them removed. Although mugshots are public record, I feel like this is an abuse of that information. Mugshots are public for a reason, but this isn’t it. While defendants should be held responsible for any crimes committed, they should also have a reasonable amount of privacy surrounding the case and their actions.
Group 6-“Blood on your hands”
When this group started their presentation, I had no idea what their ethical issue was. They focused so much on one case that their topic got somewhat lost in translation. When they got going with a discussion of the issue, however, I realized that their issue is extremely important and common. Journalists report on people and events, sometimes ones that lead or result in death. Where should journalists draw the line with their reporting? At one point is “the story” invading another persons life or putting him/her at risk? I think this group should’ve used more case studies to explain their issue. This would’ve helped the class to see the issue for its application in general and not just the specific case. Overall, I think a persons’ safety is more important than a journalists job. Journalists should never jeopardize someones life for the sake of information or a story.
Kristen Morrell, Kmorrell30@gmail.com