Change The Media

Sydni Bratthauar, Writer

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In my previous article I wrote about how the media is extremely corrupt and biased this day in age. In the last paragraph I told future Journalists, including me, that we need to be better when our time comes. How exactly are we supposed to do that, though? How can we put ethics and morals back into such a corrupt industry?

Every job has certain ethics to follow; to keep that field ‘pure’. Journalism has certain ethics, but no one seems to follow them anymore. The five main ethics Journalists should follow are Truth and Accuracy, Independence, Fairness and Impartiality, Humanity, and finally Accountability. If future Journalists follow these simple morals, they could probably change the media, or at least start to change it.

Truth and Accuracy are probably one of the most important aspects of a Journalist’s career. Getting the facts right is a critical principle of being a Journalist. They should always want to be as accurate as possible and make sure to fact check what they’ve written. When Journalists can’t corroborate their facts, or provide evidence to support their facts or claim, they should just say so and not lie or create a fake story. If we can incorporate the truth back into the story again, we can take one step forward to changing things.

Independency in the Journalism world is a very important attribute all Journalists need to keep in mind. Journalists should choose what to write and how to write it. They shouldn’t be acting on opinions, whether it be political to cultural. Journalists need to put their opinions aside and write the factual story. Our jobs are not to persuade the public to see our views, we’re not political speech writers or advertisers. We’re the storytellers the people rely on to give them the facts, whether we agree or disagree.

Other important morals are Fairness and Impartiality. Every story usually has two sides. Most people only write or report one of the sides: their own. Without the other side, the story is unbalanced. Like I mentioned before, we are not advertisers, we are Journalists. However, there are some instances where there may be only one side, like brutality or inhumanity. Fairness and Impartiality is how Journalists gain the trust of the public and makes the people feel confident in their writing.

Now, Humanity is one of the biggest morals in the world. This is the term that defines being human. I mentioned in my last article that the media may be one of the causes of violence and corruption in the country today because of what they report. Facts may cause unhappiness with some if they disagree, but a Journalist’s opinions may be more upsetting, especially if all they’re spilling is lies. They need to remember their humanity and remember that what they write or broadcast will impact other lives.

The last moral is Accountability. Accountability is probably one of the hardest of the five morals to uphold. Journalists must be able to admit their mistakes, try to fix them, and apologize sincerely, not cynically. Journalists must also listen to their audience’s concerns, even though they can’t change what their readers write/say about that mistake. The criticism might actually help with writing better articles.

If Journalists can uphold these five morals, they can change the media industry for the better. We need to give the public the Truth. We need to be Individual. We need to write Fairly and Impartially; we need to remember our Humanity. We need to be able to admit our mistakes and hold ourselves Accountable. Future Journalists need to be the Change.

Source: Ethical Journalism Network