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BCO6672 The Information Systems Professional

Semester 2, 2016

Student Name & ID

Lecturer Name
Date & Time

Obayed Moni


Kitisak Kanjanakun


Peter Nguyen


Tran Hoai Anh Tuan


Dr. Scott Bingley

Tuesday 15:00 ~ 18:00

The Future of Newspapers

Table of Contents
1. Introduction .......................................................................................................... 1
2. How can newspapers be profitable in the digital age? ......................................... 2
2.1 News companies sell both printed and online newspapers ........................... 2
2.2 Using social media to advertise the content .................................................. 3
2.3 News application for mobile devices ............................................................. 4
2.4 Collaboration among competitors.................................................................. 5
3. How can governments regulate the media without stifling free speech? ............. 5
3.1 Freedom of Speech ....................................................................................... 5
3.2 Media regulations .......................................................................................... 6
4. What are the ethical issues regarding privacy and hacking e.g. inquiry into News
Corporation? ........................................................................................................ 7
4.1 News Corporation Phone Hacking and its Negative Outcomes on Various
Stakeholders ................................................................................................. 8
4.2 Informational Privacy and Ethics in the Digital Age ....................................... 9
4.3 Challenges faced by Professionals ............................................................. 10
4.4 Information Governance .............................................................................. 10
5. How does the media promote the interest of minority groups? .......................... 11
5.1 Offering new official channels to raise the voice of minority groups ............ 11
5.2 Committing for better Human Rights ........................................................... 12
5.3 Getting public response quickly................................................................... 13
6. Conclusion ......................................................................................................... 14
References ............................................................................................................... 16

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1. Introduction
Traditionally, reading a printed newspaper is an activity that many people engage in
to keep up to date with events around the world. A daily newspaper used to be the
most prominent and easiest way to distribute a lot of information to people (Patel
2010). From the development of black and white print to physical colour printing, the
medium of newspapers has transformed from text on paper to something much more
exciting. The future of newspapers represents a trajectory influenced by the
development of the digital age which is full of new opportunities to reshape the status
quo of the industry. Newspapers are being replaced and augmented by other forms of
media such as the internet, social media and mobile applications to support on
demand access to information. The revenue of newspapers has dropped dramatically
since 1994 which was the beginning of the internet era (Corredoira & Sood 2015).
Consequently the new platforms presents different ways for newspapers to increase
its readership, advertising revenue and profit margins however it also presents
challenges that newspaper and information systems professionals must overcome.
This report will discuss the future of the newspapers in many different aspects. It will
first focus on how newspapers can be profitable in the digital age through different
techniques such as websites, social media, news applications and collaboration with
competitors. Next it will analyse the ways in which governments regulate the media
and how it can do so without stifling free speech.
In addition, ethical issues regarding informational privacy, press freedom, hacking and
information governance are key issues which can be complex in the global fast moving
A discussion will also be made on the ways the media can promote the interest of
minority groups by offering new official channels to raise the voice of minority groups,
improving human rights and getting faster public responses to issues.

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2. How can newspapers be profitable in the digital age?

The profit of newspapers has dropped dramatically since the internet has heavily
influenced everyday life since the mid-90s (Corredoira & Sood 2015). Nowadays,
people can search for information on demand with the internet so a lot of people think
printed newspapers are going to die off (Rogers 2015). Netflix and Amazon which sell
mainly on the internet get a high proportion of their revenue from recurring user
subscription fees so some people strongly believe that there is room for newspapers
to become profitable again by adopting a similar model (Corredoira & Sood 2015).
According to Corredoira & Sood (2015), although people can download contents from
the internet illegally, the revenues of digital content company like Netflix increase every
year. This means that there are many people who want to buy content on the internet
legally as well. Thus, newspapers cannot be sold by printing only. They need to tap
into opportunities with a multi-channel approach and provide what people want on the
internet with reasonable prices to grow profits. Following will be a discussion of some
key evolutions of the news industry in the digital age that newspapers can tap into.

2.1 News companies sell both printed and online newspapers

People tend to spend money to buy content on the internet. This forces the news
industry to transform and sell both printed newspapers and online newspapers. A pay
wall model has been introduced by big news companies to get money from subscribers
(Alix 2012). A pay wall operates by blocking certain premium content on news
websites and requires audiences to pay for subscribing to be able to read the whole
article (Alix 2012). This technique can work well because there was evidence that The
New York Times obtained 500,000 subscribers using this method online within one
year in 2012 (Rogers 2015). However, people have found ways around the paywall
and therefore this presents a challenge for information systems professionals to
develop systems with adequate coding to keep the paywalls working. (Knoll 2016).
People still want to read the news and many prefer reading on the internet. Hence,
providing a numerous range of content on the internet is one way to increase

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readership and profit margins in the digital age. Although people pay for subscriptions
to online newspapers making profit for news companies, the majority of their revenue
comes from advertisement in traditional newspapers (Rogers 2015). Some news
companies such as Arkansas Democrat-Gazette increase revenue by promoting
options for people to subscribe to normal newspapers and get both online access to
the website and printed newspapers at the same price of subscribing online only
(Rogers 2015). This method can benefit the company by increasing advertising
revenue streams from both advertisements in printed newspapers and online

Figure 1. Comparison of advertising revenue between traditional and online

newspaper (Corredoira & Sood 2015)

2.2 Using social media to advertise the content

News companies see the opportunity to use social media to advertise their content to
young people by posting short stories on Facebook, Twitter or even Instagram
(Saperstein 2014). With the huge surge in the amount of social media users across

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multiple platforms, the short content can be seen by a large number of younger people
who make up a large user base of social media. The ones who are really interested in
those stories will go to news websites to explore and possible subscribe or even buy
traditional newspapers (Saperstein 2014). The advantages of this method are people
can consume news in real time and news companies can also advertise their news for
free or lower costs as opposed to traditional newspapers. However, journalists need
to put effort and find out what young people want to know every day or which topics
are trending on social media. The content on social media need to engage young
people. Moreover, many journalists should tweet or comment regularly on the social
media which is another way to get people involved (Franklin 2014). The features
provided by news companies such as share to Facebook, Twitter or email to friends
have potential to get the attention of young people and make the content go viral. The
notion of making a topic into a global phenomenon is a key feature of the future of
newspapers. (Patel 2010). Additionally, news companies need to hire not only
journalists but also experienced web designers to improve their websites to support
the trends of social media. This is also a challenge for IS professionals who work as
web designers or developers to create attractive templates and develop useful
functions to attract more readers.
2.3 News application for mobile devices
The number of people using smart mobile devices has increased dramatically and a
lot of people prefer to use mobiles or tablets in everyday life rather than desktop
computers or laptops (Corredoira & Sood 2015). One opportunity for news industry is
the ability for journalists to upload news or post comments on the internet which people
can see straight away on their mobile devices (Franklin 2014). The more relevant news
updates the website has, the higher percentage of people are likely to read and
subscribe. However, the challenge for IS professionals is in designing content and
functions to fit the screen of smart phones and tablets which need to be optimized to
perform properly. The news applications can enhance reading experiences through
making it more convenient to read and get updates on breaking news which can result
in repeat usage of the applications (Corredoira & Sood 2015). In order to increase
users of applications and therefore revenue, news companies need to improve their
applications because if customers have to read news from web mobiles, they are

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slower than an application. Furthermore, the news applications have to be compatible

with all platforms such as iOS, Android and Window phones which are popular
platforms at the moment (Corredoira & Sood 2015). Developing on different platforms
requires different coding skillsets. This presents challenges for newspaper companies
to nurture or develop the technical expertise and talent to develop robust news
2.4 Collaboration among competitors
It is clear that the internet can facilitate communication on a global scale that
transcends international borders. People in different countries can work together by
using the internet. News organisations can use this chance to turn competitors into
allies to make more profits. Asian News Network which consists of 21 media
organisations around Asia was founded in 1999 (Price 2015). A minimum of five
stories are provided by each member daily and a member can use stories from other
members to publish with giving credit to the original sources (Price 2015). This method
will make individual news company more articles and stories from other countries. The
benefit of collaboration among competitors is to have more stories in other countries
to publish without increasing the costs to hire more staff to work in different countries
(Price 2015). Moreover, maintaining good mutual relationships with competitors as
well as knowing writing styles and cultures of other countries are additional benefits.
According to Price (2015), news companies form Asia and Europe are more likely to
collaborate in the future because European countries have technologies and
capabilities to provide stories whereas Asian countries have big markets because of
huge population. Therefore, international stories are another way to make more
revenues for news organisations in the digital era.
3. How can governments regulate the media without stifling free speech?
3.1 Freedom of Speech
Generally, free speech can be defined as the right of a person in thinking and speaking
freely, as well as keeping ones opinion without any interference of others (Weiss
2015). It means that everyone has the freedom to think and express their point of
views, and hold the right to reserve their own school of thought. In the contemporary

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day, it is difficult to support freedom of expression for all people within the cyber
environment due to the variation of global prudence and legality. For example, one
cultural norm might turn out to be a sensitive topic in another cultural norms and
beliefs. As a result, enormous social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter,
Google+ always try to maintain free speech for all users in the global perspective.
Sometimes, the right to free speech is severely violated by censorship or in extreme
cases forbidden by the government, especially information on democracy or political
issues (Ammori 2014). Not surprisingly, the violation of free speech causes a serious
paradox for society. It is ridiculous that Mr. Fang Binxing also known as the father of
the Great Firewall in China possesses six Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) in order
to escape from the Great Firewall online security filter whenever he wants to access
information which are in the list of unapproved websites and located outside of China
such as South Korea. This firewall is contrary to the expectations of free speech in
modern society. (Ramzy 2016)
3.2 Media regulations
Obviously, media governance can be defined as the framework of practices, rules,
and institutions that set limits and give incentives for the performance of the media.
In other words, media regulations involve the principles, policies, processes and
patterns which govern the entirety of media activities in both formal type of laws and
administrations, and informal form of self-regulations. Typically, there are four basic
models of media regulation which consists of printing, broadcast, telecommunication
and internet. In perspective of location, media regulation is divided into three different
levels of global, regional and national practice so that setting the standards for
international, multi-national and local actors to follow (Leicester 2016; Puppis 2010).
Regulation of media has transcended. In the digital age, media in general or social
media specifically can bring a bundle of benefits such as better communication and
interaction between citizens, creating more transparency and democracy for political
activities, improving freedom of information for everyone in society. It can be seen that
many individuals and organizations from both public and private sectors use social
media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube to interact and communicate
to each other. Additionally, e-commerce becomes so popular that government also

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provides public services via e-government websites because of its convenience

(Picazo-Vela, Gutirrez-Martnez & Luna-Reyes 2012).
Under the development of new technologies, social media has dramatically grown
beyond the control of rules and regulations, such as YouTube and Facebook allow
users to broadcast their own videos or even livestream up to 30 minutes to audiences
around the world without getting any permission from local authorities. As a result, it
is a challenge to control these individual broadcasting contents for both government
and media corporations. It requires all internet users to pay more attention on selfregulation rather than relying on the regulation from governments (APC 2014; Holmes
2013; Perlberg & Seetharaman 2016).
From a management perspective, governments often control media through a series
of laws and administrations. For example, news corporations must have special
licenses to operate in the broadcasting services such as radio or television. Local
authorities also determine certain program standards relating to program content,
childrens views compliance, and other codes of practice in order to assure viewers
rights and news business obligations. These content regulations are mainly related to
the copyright, advertisement and restriction issues. Additionally, the government has
several limitations to foreign investment and ownership due to protecting the
broadcasting market (Burke, Chung & Tran 2012).
In practice, the Pan European Game Information (PEGI) Code of Conduct has been
established to provide classification information for media products. It has suggested
a series of rating which is most suitability for certain ages, for example 3+, 7+, 12+, 16+
and 18+. Such regulation can help to protect young children from potentially harmful
contents. Media corporations are required to promote this practice by labelling their
games and advertising programs, otherwise they cannot get a license (DorbeckJung
et al. 2010).
4. What are the ethical issues regarding privacy and hacking e.g. inquiry into
News Corporation?
With the development of digital media channels it has been discussed that there are
numerous opportunities to deliver news stories to a wider audience. The capabilities

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of technology have in many ways reshaped how journalists gather their information
sources. Journalists and media outlets must consider ethical and moral issues when
they procure information and release new stories. Additionally, they must respect
privacy guidelines, regulations and laws in their respective jurisdictions. For news
organisations the decisions to share a story to the public on the basis of sensitive
private information can be a complex process to handle. Ethical issues are an
important topic for organisations to consider in a business context because unethical
practices can be heavily scrutinized by society which ultimately lead to the downfall of
an organisastion. Additionally, employees and various stakeholders such as those
whose news stories expose their personal information can be affected negatively.
4.1 News Corporation Phone Hacking and its Negative Outcomes on Various
The negative impacts of unethical practices is encapsulated in the case of News of
The World, a subsidiary of the News Corporation media conglomerate. The
organization was involved in a phone hacking scandal which represented a case of
gross misconduct in journalism ethics and the failure of responsible information
gathering. These unethical practices and wrongdoings involved the breach of privacy
of members of the British Royal family, celebrities, Prime Minister David Cameron and
victims of crime (Day 2006). The lack of business integrity in the way these events
unfolded generated debate about how organisations and journalists should be allowed
to get their information.
Overall, adequate best practices must be in place and ethics must be upheld otherwise
the organization can experience many ramifications. An organizations brand image
can be damaged beyond repair, negatively affecting the newspapers bottom line and
eventually causing it to shut down. This was seen in with the News of The World
which was a top-selling English newspaper for 168 years. The negative effects were
widespread and affected many people. After the privacy and hacking scandals it
subsequently lost revenues through boycotts by its readership and was shunned by
its advertisers. 200 employees lost their jobs with the closure of News of the World
(Greene 2011). The events led to the resignations of News Corp Director, Rupert
Murdoch, his son James Murdoch as the executive chairman and the Police
commissioner of London. Furthermore, 100 arrests and 26 formal charges were made.
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The effects of the scandal not only acted as a catalyst for the Leveson Inquiry which
was a Government inquiry into the practice of press ethics it also sparked discussion
in other areas around the world. In Australia ethical discussions were had and the
CEO of News Limited announced a review of all transactions made during the time of
the News of the World phone hacking scandal. (Little 2013).
4.2 Informational Privacy and Ethics in the Digital Age
Ethics and privacy is an evolving point of discussion in the world of newspapers.
Informational privacy can relate to the privacy of email messaging, personal financial
information and medical information. This piece has previously ascertained that it is
expected in a democratic society that one is allowed the basic right to be left alone
and for their information to be kept private. The example of the News Corp phone
hacking scandal disclosing personal information is not only unethical but illegal. The
disclosure of such sensitive personal information raises questions over the serious
issues and challenges of data management and data security faced by professionals.
With the connectivity of the internet and the way we interact with our personal
information, control over personal information is a key challenge that needs to be
addressed by individuals and organisations (Joinson & Paine 2007). We generate a
lot of information through text, images and videos through social media. The
information on social media represents new challenges for dealing with ethics and
privacy. Journalists reporting on tragedies often have to do a death knock where they
go to interview family members of the victims. Since this is an emotionally straining
activity, many journalists resorted to lifting information from the victims social media
accounts arguing the information was considered fair game if the privacy settings of
the individual were set to public (Newton & Duncan 2012). Thus, the way in which
information is distributed in the digital age and the elements of privacy settings in social
media has incited society to think and better manage their personal information.
Professional must question whether the usage of personal information for stories and
other applications is appropriate
Press Freedom
It is true that the individual rights of privacy should be respected in many cases.
However, that is not to say all information should be kept private. Thus the rights of

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privacy must be weighed with the good of society. Press freedom allows media outlets
the freedom of speech to uncover private information that may harm individuals or
societal good. For example, news outlets can use the power of press freedom to
uncover criminal activities, corruption and other malpractices around the world. This
balance between individual rights and the good of society can be difficult to determine
in many cases (Chama 2015). The journalists must provide evidence that their story
is in the interest of the public. Professionals must also keep in mind who will benefit
from the news topics and who the topic will harm.
4.3 Challenges faced by Professionals
Ultimately whether or not the exposure of private information is deemed to be
appropriate or ethical, it is true that the way in which information is procured must align
with information privacy law, relevant legislations and guidelines set out by media
authorities in each jurisdiction. These may differ around the world which professionals
must be informed of. The term Get it first but first get it right is a United Press
International saying that highlights this notion (Morris 1957). Professionals must
ensure their practices always be in line with these laws. This is however met with the
increasing pressures faced by professionals such as time constraints to release new
compelling stories that resonate with audiences. News professionals are constantly
competing with other organisations to produce content the fastest and keep up with
the trending topics. As a consequence, for example some journalists may blur the line
in ethics and procure information without the consent of an individual or utilize
questionable tactics to meet deadlines. They must act ethically in their activities as this
translates into the ethical standpoint of orgnaisation. In this sense, invading the privacy
of individuals without a just cause could lead to negative impacts such as costly
litigation for the newspaper organisations and professionals.
4.4 Information Governance
Information governance, is a key issue that must be kept in mind. The management
of information by individuals and organisations must be of a high standard. This means
putting in place policies and procedures for the information to be properly managed
and stored (Small 2011). While, the example of the News of The World phone
hacking scandal reveals unethical and illegal actions it also reveals an inherent lack

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of information governance on the part of the telecommunication organization. A private

investigator hired by the News of the World journalist was able to access voicemails
and sensitive information by posing as a person with legitimate authority who had the
right to the information (Holt 2011). This exposes a data security weakness in
organisation that must be improved upon. It is important for all organisations that store
data on individuals to review how they handle this information and ensure that they
have the utmost care for sensitive information and comply with privacy laws. Moreover,
good governance will mean that organisations know what type of information they
have and have key processes in place to train staff on how to keep the information
secure from others (Small 2011).
5. How does the media promote the interest of minority groups?
As presented in the previous section, free speech is one of the basis of human rights.
It means that everyone can freely express their own opinion, and all public information
must be available and easy to access throughout society. This essential concept is not
always transparent as expected, especially in the minority groups who are accidentally
neglected or forgotten without any concern from the public services (Hansson 2011).
However, the interest of minority groups can be promoted and exposed to the public
efficiently through the media as presented below.
5.1 Offering new official channels to raise the voice of minority groups
According to the spiral of silence theory, minority groups will remain silent if their point
of view is contrary to popular view of society (Petersen 2016). There are some media
that allow people to express their opinions, such as newspaper, radio, and television.
But these media often concentrate on public interest and opinion for instance:
business, sport, or political news rather than being a communication bridge for
minority groups. In the digital age, there is a plenty of websites, blogs, forums, etc.
which allows people to convey thoughts to the community. Additionally, people have
a tendency to share their own life and experiences through social media because they
feel it is convenient medium to do so. They are also confident to interact with others
through cyber network. The fear of being a minority and socially isolated seems to blur
or vanish due to the bounder-less world of the internet. For that reason, most of the

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media nowadays has developed their own digital channel of weblogs in order to
communicate with both public and minority groups (Yang & Li 2016).
In reality, The New York Times has published the digital version which allows readers
around the world to interact with each other, give personal comments or debates, and
share interesting articles on social media such as Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.
Recently, there has been a series of debates, named the effects of seeing AsianAmericans as a Model Minority, which attracts many debaters to contribute their
thoughts and hundreds of readers from different social status to comment for insightful
discussions (Lim 2015). Similarly, the issues of minority groups such as
discrimination, crimes also have a great opportunity to expose to the public
community so that they can get appropriate attention and support from society. As a
result, it helps to reduce the criminal rates in society, and enable a civilized society
and equality for marginalised communities as well (Clemente & Roulet 2015; Park &
Mykhyalyshyn 2016).
5.2 Committing for better Human Rights
As defined by the United Nations, human rights are the inherent rights of all human
being regardless their nationality, religion, race, color, language, or any other status.
All individuals are equally entitled to human rights without discrimination. Whilst the
universal human rights are mostly regulated governments have an obligation to build
and enforce laws and regulations to protect and promote the practice of human rights,
a fundamental freedom through a civilized society (OHCHR 2016). Yet human rights
are not always undertaken properly and equally in different societal settings. There is
still a violation of human rights, especially in developing countries where gender bias
and traditional values of social beliefs may cause to prevent young girls from getting
basic education (UNICEF 2015). To eliminate violations of human rights, governments
should pay more attention to their processes of making laws on human rights,
enforcing them, and monitoring its enforcement in practice. For example, the
parliament of Rwanda has passed the prevention and punishment of gender-biased
violence law which remarkably brings efforts to improve the gender equality for the
entire society. With the removal of gender limitations, all Rwandan women have a
good chance to participate in the labor forces, engage in business activities, or even
get involved with political issues (Hebert 2015). In addition, people around the world
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can exploit digital platforms of social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, to
expose critical issues of human rights. This might bring about new changes on the
democratic situation for society under the pressure of mass expectation from the digital
networking community. This can be seen in the instances such the Arab Spring or
Turkey revolutions. However, the policy of using actual personal identity on social
media can cause a severe problem that the repressive countries can use this sensitive
information against members of free writers, bloggers, journalists, activists, or minority
groups. These protesting persons can be imprisoned just because of expressing their
opposite opinions to government point of views (Solomon 2015).
5.3 Getting public response quickly
Gathering quick responses from society is another positive benefit from using digital
media. This is the trajectory of the capabilities of newspapers in the modern age. As
a result of the ubiquity of internet, people can easily connect and communicate to each
other regardless of time and location distance. Internet readers can reply right away
to whatever they think of the presenting issues. It is surprising to know that up to 93
million users of Sina Weibo the largest social media in China has contributed their
response to measure the air quality and pollution level of major cities which has been
analyzed and resulted in similar figures with the official data stated by local authorities
(Wang, Paul & Dredze 2015). Unfortunately, there was a true story about refugees
who lived in relief camp in Lalachor village, India and suffered terrible living conditions,
such as lack of blankets, soaps, and nutrition for toddlers. The article also mentioned
that visitors from NGO and government were mostly male and spoke to men only.
Thus, it had no chance for women to expose their difficulties and expectations. This
article has resonated with minority groups and refugees bringing an award for the
reporter, Ms. Priyanka Borpujari an independent journalist from India (Borpujari
2015; IVA 2015).

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6. Conclusion
In summary, this piece has given an overview of a number of key issues relating to
newspapers in the digital age. The digital age has transformed the environment in how
newspapers must now operate.
Firstly, it is contended that newspapers are dropping off with many people searching
for the news through other outlets and channels such as the internet. This article has
presented a number of strategies in which newspapers can become profitable in the
digital age. It presented the opportunities in utilizing website forms of newspapers,
social media and mobile phone news applications. The convenience and the
information on demand that these platforms allow is unprecedented. Moreover, while
newspapers should focus on their own individual strategies to sell newspapers it is
argued that collaboration with competitors can be a viable strategy.
In addition, the regulatory environment of newspapers has been discussed. This article
has offered an overview of how governments can regulate the media without stifling
free speech. Through the literature it has recognized the importance of freedom of
speech and the laws that relate to expression of oneself. Media regulation in Australia
has revealed restrictions placed upon newspapers and other forms of media. The
notion of a balance between privacy and freedom of speech has been conveyed.
Next, the ethical issues relating to privacy and hacking in the context of newspaper
and media outlets has been examined. The example of News of The Worlds phone
hacking scandal has been put forward as a key example of unethical behaviour in
privacy and the procurement of news sources. It is important to follow ethical practices
because unethical and even outright illegal behaviour can be seen to have drastic
consequences for various stakeholders. The balance of privacy, press freedom and
public good is an ethical issue that newspapers must consider. With the growth of
digital media and especially social media, there is new challenges in the way
individuals information should be handled. This is something IS professionals should
be cognizant of.
Finally, an analysis of how the media promotes the interests of minority groups has
been presented. The media can offer new channels for the minority to raise their voices

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and express their opinions. Further, it allows for a tool for better human rights by
monitoring and enforcing practices. Digital media also provides a powerful tool to get
public response quickly which can inform humanitarian relief initiatives and solutions.
Thus, it can be seen that digital age offers many opportunities for newspapers to
capitalize on but it requires them to adapt and change. While the opportunities are
evident there are new challenges that newspapers must address.

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