Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Moral Minefields, Legal Landmarks:12 & 13

Just when is it that the personal becomes political? This section of the book focus's heavily on the real concerns in journalism. That is, what is public intrest and exactly how is it that journalists prevent themselves in regards to the legal and moral responsibilities and rights. What is the right when it comes to a journalists right to publish in the "publics intrest" but protect when its classified as the individuals right to privacy. Sounds confusing! But I think its a very serious issue, and needs to be handled efficiently. What happens when an accident occurs within the "school hour" and two little children are killed as a result of a young hoon sppeding through the 40 zone and not looking where he was going. Should it be in the publics intrest for the journalist to go speak to the familys of the children killed and get the information on how they are feeling to be published in the next mornings paper, or is that an intrusion of privacy and an insensitive act to take on. Its very dfficult to bridge the gap between these two. Because ethics and morals come severely into play. Also the notion of privacy-which is the right to be left alone, the right to control unwanted publicity about ones affairs and the right to withhold any and all information that one does not want made public- can be sought after in any circumstance where the news story is more important than the individuals rights. However autonomy is valid tool when wanting to question if a story shoudl be published or not. If you know how much impact your story could have on ones own life then you should be able to figure out whether it is all worth it in the end.


christina said...

Often too you just don't know what you will do until you are put in the situation. Doing a 'death knock" was not in my dream job description. When I was told to go out and do one, I had to find the most sensitive path to tread and be strong about how I was prepared to do that. Not always easy. My thoughts at the time were all about how the family wanted to proceed. If they were willing to talk to me then fine, if not I would walk away. I didn't use any tricks or guile to get through the front door. Still it was a tough one and still is to this day


A wee young Journalist said...

Yes, Thats very true. I cant imagine being placed in the situation, but untill it may happen, I would presume I would be thinking along the same lines as you.