The Society of Professional Journalists has 4 basic guidelines:
Seek truth and report it.
Be accountable and transparent.
It can be said that the objective of the journalist should be to print the truth and relevant facts as concisely as possible without misleading by omissions or out of context information.
Humans mentioned should be respected and not harmed with unproven allegations and falsehoods which is basically libelous information.
The goal should be to write in the interests of the public good and not for personal gain.
Finally journalists should own up to what they print and honestly correct any errors or mistakes which they have made along the way. If ethical choices are made or opinions offered then they should be transparent and not stated in devious ways.
The reality is that much of the new generation doesn’t enjoy reading lengthy articles and some questionable information is being fed the public in sound bites or short bits of information which don’t always seem logically connected.
Political reporting is increasingly biased and opinions which aren’t backed up with factual information is becoming rampant. Very briefly there is a strong tendency towards a tabloid press approach, guilt by association, and character assassination with insults, put downs, name calling, ridicule, and humiliation all often used to destroy humans with political opinions differing from those of the left wing ideologues.
In effect, media is becoming much less objective and subjectively biased on all issues of national and foreign policy. Investigative reporting is seldom done to identify corrupt individuals, organizations, and practices so trust in the media is at an all time low. Big money has corrupted the objectivity of the media and there is no hope that circumstances will get any better in the near future as long a big tech, big banks, big corporations, big government, big academia, big celebrities, and big media are mostly in charge of information dissemination.
Big money is big power and it seems that the bigger things get the less there is justice and fair treatment of individuals with opposing views or facts and lifestyles. Mob rule is an injustice whether it is groups of individuals or groups of organized organizations who are doing it. Truthful civilized discourse is necessary in the media for an informed public. If there is too little rational truth to go around then we run the danger of falling into a misinformation glut soon followed by chaos or ideological unjust tyranny.
Unfortunately ethical journalists are becoming few and far between. Possibly because honest, truthful, or just journalism principles do not make the most money but often lead to a rather poor existence financially. Are there more important things than money? Definitely, but that money is not freely flowing to ethical journalists these days.
The necessary moral leadership is getting more corrupt or immoral and biased by the year. At the moment the future looks grim unless there is a grass roots revival in morality and justice for those with integrity and not for those with a ruthless desire for power at any cost. The ends should not justify the means but this Machiavellian approach seems to be currently in vogue by the media.
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