Ethics in Journalism

Work shop for Journalists
District Training Centre Visakhapatnam

Vijay Kr. Sodadasi
Asst.Professor GITAM Institute of Management GITAM University Hon. Director –CORD India Visakhaptnam

Session Includes..
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Journalism and its manifestations Ethical practices in Journalism Why ethics in journalism Global ethical challenges Global journalism ethical tasks


Journalism and its manifestations  Newspapers and other journalism institutions falter,
networks of investigative and alternative newsrooms are rising up, sharing resources and finding ways to more widely distribute their work. The global network is increasing in number Web and now social media is that they permit world wide collaborations Collaborations have already been spawned by the global network through web The ethical dilemmas they must confront

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Journalism and its manifestations

To ensure that high standards are met and prevent the kind of public distrust of the media as their “are selling access," to public A belief that new technology can advance the cause of transparency in government. A benefit of the Web and now social media is that they permit wide collaborations and cross-training among the centers and investigative reporters.

Journalism and its manifestations
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Because of Media influence and increasing visibility, investigative reporting networks should represent the highest professional standards in reporting, editing and ethical conduct. Periodic reviews of the networks and their members, and ethics training by experienced journalists, could help encourage the best work possible. It could also ensure that high standards are met and prevent the kind of public distrust of the media that has increased over the past decade. Media is enticing them to buy the news to get this thing of value.


Journalism and its manifestations
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This is a crisis period for journalism. Everybody is looking for a new market paradigm. The danger is that everything else of value to journalism is at risk because you have to stay alive. The person chosen to speak must be credible and must be accredited As they're speaking on behalf of a lot of people. Globalization trends and energy and the growing competition for resources Rules put into place after the “fact." Bandages to cover a gaping ethical wound


Journalism and its manifestations
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Commercialization has influenced media’s decisions Investment of “bad money” in media by a section of people like instances in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka where two major political parties were being made to “kneel” before the media barons Extensive malpractice of “paid news” and “coverage packages” Paid news could cause double jeopardy


Journalism and its manifestations
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Professional training of journalists could be imparted with greater ease and the difficult part was to resurrect the professional and ethical dimension of journalism The “firewall” is there not only to prevent the quid pro quo but the appearance of quid pro quo. Journalists must be considered credible to convey information readers trust Need for proper training of media professionals in proportion to the media growth All over the world, the media was regulated, either by self or statute Self-regulation is the best


New Forms..
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Online Journalism Cell Journalism Bogging Citizen Journalism


Ethical practices in Journalism

Ethics and law are separate spheres but they overlap in theory and practice. In theory, ethics justifies laws and legal practices Situations in journalism raise both legal and ethical questions Whether an action is legal is considered to be the first hurdle that any action must clear, before ethical issues are raised Ethical standards such as fairness and accuracy are used in court cases to evaluate stories for libel and other legal problems

Ethical practices in Journalism

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The word “ethics” is connected intrinsically with questions of correct conduct within society. Etymologically “Ethics” comes from the Greek “ethos” meaning “character” which indicates a concern for virtuous people, reliable character and proper conduct . “Morality” is derives from “mores” or custom - the rules of conduct of a group or society. Ethics is not limited to the acts of a single person. Ethics is also interested in the correct practices of governments, corporations, professionals and many other groups.

Ethical practices in Journalism

Ethics is sometimes identified with an inflexible set of rules and self-righteous moralizing. Rules say an action is either right or wrong. Ethical thinking requires the guidance of principles but it should not be shackled to them Ethics should focus on how people interpret, apply, balance and modify their principles in light of new facts, new technology, new social attitudes and changing economic and political conditions.


Ethical practices in Journalism
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Ethics is not static. Ethics consists of dynamic frameworks of principles and values. Our ethical values reflect our deepest convictions and attachments. They define who we are, and give us an ethical “identity.” Ethics is the process of inventing new and better ethical responses to problems and conflicts. This process is driven not only by social change but also by our “ethical imagination” which continually pushes on existing boundaries

Range of Ethics
Ethical inquiry covers a wide range of possible subjects, such as:

Personal ethics: e.g. questions about one's basic values and plan of life Professional ethics: principles and practices of major professions Social and political ethics: e.g., issues of social justice, political rights Ethics of sexual and gender relation


Range of Ethics

Research ethics in academia and the private sector Environmental ethics, including the ethical treatment of animals Global ethics: ethics of international affairs, human rights Communication ethics, including media, public relations and journalism


Global journalism ethics

Global journalism ethics aims at developing a comprehensive set of principles and standards for the practice of journalism in an age of global news media. New forms of communication are reshaping the practice of a once parochial craft serving a local, regional or national public Today, news media use communication technology to gather text, video and images from around the world, with unprecedented speed and varying degrees of editorial control

Why a global ethics?
There are at least two reasons

Practical: a non-global ethic is no longer able to adequately address the new problems that face a global journalism, and Ethical: new global responsibilities come with global impact and reach


Why a global ethics?

News reports, via satellite or the Internet, reach people around the world and influence the actions of governments, militaries, humanitarian agencies and warring ethnic groups News media now inhabit a radically pluralistic, global community where the impact of their reports can have far-reaching effects -- good or bad. A responsible global ethic is needed in a world where news media bring together a plurality of different religions, traditions and ethnic groups.


Why a global ethics?

One responsibility is to report issues and events in a way that reflects this global plurality of views; to practice a journalism that helps different groups understand each other better. Reports should be accurate, balanced and diverse, as judged from an international perspective. A biased and parochial journalism can wreak havoc in a tightly linked global world.

Why a global ethics?

Biased reports may incite ethnic groups in a region to attack each other. (eg. S.Africa, Zimbabwe) A narrow-minded, patriotic news media can stampede populations into war. (eg. Iraq, Iran, Israeli, Pak) Moreover, journalism with a global perspective is needed to help citizens understand the daunting global problems of poverty, environmental degradation, technological inequalities and political instability.

In specific to fallow

No plagiarism
Don't steal others' work

Disclose, disclose, disclose
Tell your readers how you got your information, and what factors influenced your decision to publish it.

No gifts or money for coverage
One common way journalists avoid conflicts of interest is by refusing gifts or money from sources they cover


In specific to fallow

Check it out, then tell the truth
Reward your readers with accurate information that stands up to scrutiny from other writers. Check out your information before you print it.

Be honest
Be honest with your readers and transparent about your work. If people wonder for a moment about your honesty or your motives, you've lost credibility with them. Don't let them do that. Answer those questions even before readers ask.


New stage in journalism ethics birth of modern journalism in the 17th  Since the

century, journalism has gradually broaden the scope of the people that it claims to serve -- from factions to specific social classes to the public of nations The journalistic principle of “serving the public interest” has been understood, tacitly or explicitly, as serving one’s own public, social class or nation. The other principles of objectivity, impartiality and editorial independence were limited by this parochial understanding of who journalism serves. For example, “impartiality” meant being impartial in one’s coverage of rival groups within one’s society, but not necessarily being impartial to groups outside one’s national boundaries.

New stage in journalism ethics

Global journalism ethics, then, can be seen as an extension of journalism ethics -- to regard journalism’s “public” as the citizens of the world, and to interpret the ethical principles of objectivity, balance and independence in an international manner. Journalism ethics becomes more “cosmopolitan” in tone and perspective


Global journalism ethical The development of global journalism ethics has the following tasks. tasks
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Conceptual tasks New philosophical foundations for a global ethics, which include: Global re-interpretation of the ethical role and aims of journalism Global re-interpretation of existing journalism principles and standards, such as objectivity, balance and independence Construction of new norms and “best practices” as guides for the practice of global journalism


Global journalism ethical tasks

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Research tasks More research into the state of journalism, amid globalization:
Studies of news media in various regions of world Studies on the evolution and impact of globalization in news media, with a focus on ownership, technology and practice Studies on the ethical standards of new media in different countries Studies on news coverage of international problems and issues

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Global journalism ethical tasks

Practical tasks

Actions to implement and support global standards:
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Application of this global perspective to re-define the coverage of international events and issues Coalition-building among journalists and interested parties with the aim of writing a global code of ethics that has wide-spread acceptance Initiatives to defend and enhance free and responsible news media, especially in areas where problems are the greatest


How would a global ethics be different?
Philosophically, the distinct conceptual element of a global ethics can be summarized by three imperatives 1. Act as global agents Journalists should see themselves as agents of a global public sphere. The goal of their collective actions is a well-informed, diverse and tolerant global “info-sphere” that challenges the distortions of tyrants, the abuse of human rights and the manipulation of information by special interests.


How would a global ethics be different?
2. Serve the citizens of the world The global journalist’s primary loyalty is to the information needs of world citizens. Journalists should refuse to define themselves as attached primarily to factions, regions or even countries. Serving the public means serving more than one’s local readership or audience, or even the public of one’s country.


How would a global ethics be different?
3. Promote non-parochial understandings The global journalist frames issues broadly and uses a diversity of sources and perspectives to promote a nuanced understanding of issues from an international perspective. Journalism should work against a narrow ethnocentrism or patriotism.


Specific standards of journalism,
What do these three imperatives imply for specific standards of journalism,
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Such as objectivity Under global journalism ethics, objectivity becomes the ideal of informing impartially from an international stance. Objectivity in journalism has usually been understood as the duty to avoid bias toward groups within one’s own country. Global objectivity takes on the additional responsibility of allowing bias towards one’s country or culture as a whole to distort reports, especially reports on international issues.


What to do with Global challenges?

Universal values
common core of values in various places: in codes of journalism ethics, in international treaties on human rights, in anthropological studies of culture

Getting specific
Global journalism ethics will have to amount to more than a dreamy spiritualism about the brotherhood of man and universal benevolence. Conceptually, there is work to be done


What to do with Global challenges?

Reforming media practices
The slow, complex, practical task of developing better media practices is no less imposing. Exhorting individual journalists to be ethical will be futile unless supported by an institutional climate that encourages global values in the newsroom.


Any Questions?

All the participants and Manager District Trg. Centre, Visakhapatnam Thank you


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