Media’s Moral and Ethical Dilemma

Media’s Moral and Ethical Dilemma

My Reflection on the four assigned hybrid readings are as following: The Society of Professional Journalist Code of Ethics, listening to two different podcasts. They are on KUOW: The Moral Dilemma of Advertising, and To The Best of Our Knowledge: Paul Levinson on Digital McLuhan, and reviewing Project Censored Top Censored Stories. The News That Didn’t Make The News; censored 2012: Stories of 2010-2011. A bit of my own research on Media’s Moral and Ethical Dilemma.

These podcast and the articles touch on many different angles of journalism as they relate to ethics. Quiet often what the journalist report to the public, can be interpreted the wrong way. The community, the society, and the general public can miss understand information they receive. One thing can lead to another very quickly. Journalist work hard to deliver the news to the public. They are faced with different dilemmas every day, and perhaps, it could be that they are faced with many confrontations they have to deal with on a daily basis. For all these reasons, I do have a lot of respect for the profession of journalism, but at the same time I question their integrity when it comes to honesty, and truthfulness. Journalists are known to twist information to benefit their own objective. I feel that journalism as a whole is a difficult subject to understand, only because it is not straight forward. My believes in moral values often clash with the world of Journalism.

When listening to the podcast The Moral Dilemma of Advertising, I felt that people, and the community at large need to know the truth whether it is about human trafficking or something else. The fact that it was advertised in the adult section is justified because it is information people need to know. In the discussion between the Seattle’s former Mayor Mike McGinn and advertising editor Mike Sealy for The Village Voice Media and their local affiliate, The Seattle Weekly, the Mayor Mike McGinn was wrong in accusing The Seattle Weekly for not doing enough to stop human trafficking. The Mayor was letting the Weekly know who has in power. But at the same time, I have mixed feelings about this, because human trafficking is something that does have to be stopped. The question that comes to my mind is did The Weekly show both sides or was the intention to make it look so bad that the people just wanted to read more and more?

To me, there is always the other side that is ignored. The main concern and focus of this podcast is the harm it may have caused the public and perhaps minors. It is definitely the responsibility of the Mayor to stop human trafficking, but the newspapers are what people see first. The Mayor should take the responsibility to communicate with the law enforcements to stop human trafficking from harming the community. I find it interesting when they talk about how media is the watchdog for the government, but not the defendant for the government. Perhaps they are both two different things, pertaining to different aspects of how the media works with the government. To me if you are a watch dog for the government then you are a defendant for the government.

In listening to the podcast, To The Best of Our Knowledge: Paul Levinson on Digital McLuhan, I find that time is of the essence here in two forms, one is the media, and the other is the medium. Within these forms there are many parts. Part one is how media impacts votes, stories, and markets. Part two introduces how one medium takes over another. For example, the radio taking over printed communication. Part three discussed how the media collects information like feedbacks, spoken communication, and payments. This, to me, is violating ones privacy, and is very disturbing. Part four introduces how each type of media replaced the other, for example the television replaced the radio.

I find McLuhan’s predictions and insights were very interesting, it certainly put a question in my mind. Are we living in a digital world of media at war, using information instead of a physical war? It seems that McLuhan was right, because certainly the world of hackers have proven that his predictions were correct. Hacking has become a universal problem that has invaded the lives of every human being here on earth.

In combining all the assigned readings and podcast, I will share my insight with a bit of research of my own on moral ethics and dilemma on the media. Drawing from McLuhan’s perspective the media is continually evolving. The role that media plays in influencing social, economic, and political agenda in our community is a very important concern when it comes to ethical values. If the media cannot uphold to the values of integrity then our society at large will eventually live in the dark. So, maintaining credibility and integrity in the media goes hand in hand. We, the people want to hear the truth but, is it always the truth? Or twisted to make it look like it is real? In my research, I learned that in a democracy, the media is subjected to minimal legal restrain when it comes to freedom of speech. Free speech in media should never produce exploitation of minors. To me, the media has an ethical responsibility towards the public and how it affects the lives of the community at large.


On the Media Podcast Response

On the Media Pod Cast

Kuow Conversation Podcast: What is Freedom on the Web?

MY reaction: Principal of openness and the universal access to the web has made us robots of our time. We start believing whatever we hear. It is as if we have no brains left in our selves. The media systematically discards what they don’t want us to know. They are molding our thinking and our vision the way they want. The truth is often hidden from us so much so that if we find out the truth it is almost criminal. Honesty is a lonely word in the world of Media. The Medium is often taken away before we can get a sense of what it really is. We are being feed misinformation, and lies by the media every day. Not only on the T.V. news but on the web. The sad part is most people actually believe in it. I have to interest or desire for such a medium. Journalists, reporters can twist a story any way they want. Usually that’s what they do. But, just because they can, it does not mean they should. They have no code of ethics. It is as if the media is a prostitute for money hungry politicians.

On the Media Post: Sue You

I can see why so many people are so hesitant to blog, Facebook, or even Twitter. Your information for the world to see and you don’t know how your privacy can be invaded by anyone. Invading someone’s privacy is a serious issue. Using defamation, or words such as Shank to defame an individual, a corporation is un-dignifying. So much so, that when the courts get involved it gets even viler. My senses do not want to be a part of such a system in the media. Never the less, it is a part of our world we live in. It seems that everyone is trying to sue each other. To me, using defamation lawsuit to get the court order to reveal Rosemary Ports name is un-ethical. An example of frivolous use of the court system is when Cohen used defamation lawsuit to get the court order to reveal Rosemary Port’s name. Once they got the name then they dropped the law suit. The question that comes to my mind is, should you remain anonymous, or should you reveal your name? It is almost “you are doomed if you do, and you are doomed if you don’t”.


On the Media Podcast: You Decide, We Report

My reaction: After listening to “You Decide We Report”

Journalism is the fabric of professional judgment when it comes to mass media. After listening to this pod cast it was evident that the public wants to hear all that messy lies no matter what! The journalist is giving them what they want because the media already programed the audience to be the way they are today. People want to follow the sensationalism, the popular. Search Engine optimizes to generates the greatest possible user traffic on the web page on Google. The media’s job is to keep people interested, and what interest people these days are what are sensationalized by the media itself! Another Ah-ha moment is the fact that even today in our digital world of technology the key to journalism is still what is important to people, and what is not important to people. But who decides that? The people or the media? Or is it the politicians? The fact is that often time’s ethics of journalism is ignored and overlooked.

People In Holes

My reaction: We the people of society, communities, have fallen victim to being stuck in a hole. The focus is not only the amount of people who have fallen, but the people who are involved in the situation. Sensationalizing a tragic event, have become Pulitzer Prize Winning! Musicals are even described as groundbreaking. Before the television became popular, coverage on the radio included announcers that were defaming one another’s reports. Even today we get misinterpretations of the real story. There was always a confidence behind the voice of the radio that made us belief in the truth that was reported. The television and the radio worked hard to bring news to the public twenty four hours a day. This was the bate that brought the public closer to the radio. It also increased the sales of newspapers. In the Pod Cast my big A-HA moment was “The New Way of Covering a Story, wall to wall, was a success.” Ever since I can remember, television, radio, newspapers have all held on to this Devine idea, and today they still do! This kind of reporting is still alive on blogs, and online reporting today.

Media Ethics Online

My reaction: For me ethics defines the human race, a society, a community. I am disappointed that we, who keep the media alive, do not hear stories about the billions of massacred Palestinians. Instead they are portrayed as villains of society. My biggest takeaway from Paul Levinson on Digital McLuhan is that we are constantly influenced by the media with commercials, blogs, songs, and movies. The effect of this entire media has made us puppets for the media. They sing the songs and we dance to the music they play. We, as human beings, slowly realize what we are conditioned to like it, even if it is unethical. But it’s too late to change it now because sadly, we as human beings like the sound of that music.

Earthbeat/The Digital Dialectic

The Digital Dialectic

The mind and the memory is the essence of the media, and how we retain information is how we see, feel, and think at the end. We as human beings are constantly adapting to new media whether it is from print to e-books, phones to cell-phones, and sometimes even replacing humans with robots. New Media is constantly changing for us human beings to adapt. Whether we like it or not we are forced to use it, in the beginning we may dislike it, but then eventually it becomes a norm of our daily lives.

In The Digital Dialectic: New Essays on New Media by Lunenfeld, Peter, Publisher MIT Press, February 2000, the author talks about constant rise of new media. I found it interesting that Peter Lunenfeld talks about how “The Medium is the Memory”. A medium is only as interesting as the message it sends, so everything depends on the message. He determines how different cultures use media to create a memory system. That means that, if I look back at my childhood and think of everything that I was around, all the cultural values, religious believes, songs, TV shows, movies, they influenced, and shaped my believes. That is how I look at the world around me. Not only me, but everyone else who was influenced by medium as the memory. The 1964 book, Understanding Media: Extensions of Man, McLuhan is insisting that the content of communication is determined by the way it is sent. The medium is not the intension of the sender. The medium is the message. So, then we can say that the memory is the message that we keep forever. To me this memory is precious, if we lose it we lose everything. As Designers, and Artists, we constantly use media to create art, design a new logo or designing a new web site. Whether you are an experienced user or a novice, you know that certain structures work in “New Media” and certain other don’t. Like for example using Photoshop to design a two page newsletter is not user friendly, instead you should use InDesign. InDesign was designed to be a program that specialized in page layout. As designers we are constantly deciding how and why certain features functions. When we design a website, our task is first to find out how the buttons function before we design the buttons in the first place.

The essays define what is actually new about media, at the same time it situates them in their historical, and technological contexts. The author talks about how the new media’s culture is still at a point, when if you call something new, it has to have a substantiating name that our memory can retain. So, attention to memory is very important. Time is also important aspect when it comes to new media. Time exists in the present, the past, and the future. We as users of the new media define the future of the next generation. We all have an electronic extension of our selves, it has become a necessary norm in the new media. On example of this is our cell phones, we carry it with us everywhere, we even use it to find a location, as a GPS. Because of the new media, we have become dependent on electronic extensions. Do you ever wonder what it would be like if we lose all the data in our cell phones, computers, due to an outage? As a society we would be handicapped. We depend so much on these electronic extensions that we would not know what to do. I remember when I used to wait for the daily newspaper every morning, that’s no longer the case, new media is forcing us to get the news from the internet, twitter, and social networking. As users of the new media we must learn to adapt to changing technologies even if it is not the same thing as picking up your newspaper and reading it. Some of us still miss the joy of reading a newspaper. As old Media’s such as the newspapers fades away we also see books turning into e-books. We can link to e-books through the websites, as it is stated in Lunenfeld’s book how easy it is to connect to a hyperlink. The ability to link documents makes them “open-ended”, almost like Velcro-text when one thing connects to another. This also effects the creative and critical writing in the new media. So, what is digital cinema? As defined in the essay it is when film becomes digital. The impact of electronic imaging shifts from photographic images to animating motion. The author describes it as “what was once supplemental to cinema becomes norm, and what was once boundaries comes into the center.” Digital cinema redefined a new identity of cinema. In Hollywood digitization of cinema now refers movies as “flatties”, and human actors as “organics”. We as the audience can embrace this new media with excitement or we can ignore it, but ignoring it will become difficult as it becomes an everyday part of our life. Only time will tell the essence of new media as it imitates memory in our minds.

The Earth Beat’s radio podcast

Theme: Saying Goodbye

The theme focuses on sharing stories of a life that is suddenly ending and saying goodbye in a beautiful manner in which one would never think of. In the beginning I did not understand why they were saying goodbye to everything and everyone? After watching it several times I finally connected this to the medium. We as human beings are constantly embracing the new medium and ending our old life, aren’t we? As so, stories and life experiences are ending, only to enter the new medium. The elements of the podcast like the house that was soon to be demolished is really a symbol of a family, a community, a society. The new medium is the new life we as humans embrace with dignity and excitement, because our experiences in this medium teaches us to live in the new medium.

Studio 360 American Icons: I Love Lucy

I love Lucy was a model of a hit sitcom. I remember when I used to watch it with my family almost every day. It was the best part of a family get together. I love Lucy came out of a Radio show called “Hollywood byline. This is when American T.V. became American T.V. as some would say “This show invented television.” In 1950 probably the last moment anybody could mention the viability of television. This was the first time when interracial couples were shown on television. At that time period you did not see interracial couples, so in a way the show opened a pathway to a new generation that we see today in our communities and workplaces. In the words of the famous star “Lucy Ball” I do hope that they get it on film or something, so that it does not take up too much time.” Media was reviving and changing even during the 1950’s.

Invasion of the Mind Snatchers

Author Eric Burns discusses the rise of television and the social context that came from it. At that time T.V. inventors worried that they created a monster. It is interesting how the birth of television was marked my conflict. Today, as we know every subject in the media is related to conflict, a controversy. One such example is “The Benetton Group”. Radio vs. T.V. When people heard something on the radio, it got suspended after they saw it on T.V. This was the evolution of the relationship of T.V. and radio. As the audience, we can see that this was a form of medium used by the media to influence the audience.

Your Brain on New Media

New Media, its direction, and its evolving role in how we interact as a society. It all goes back to the medium as its source. We as human beings can embrace it or ignore it.