Sunday, April 22, 2012

Lecture eight: ETHICS

Okay, so I'm currently sitting in this Ethics lecture and we're supposed to be filling out a piece of paper on whether certain advertisements are ethical or unethical, but it seems that my contact lenses don't feel like working today (probably need to change them), and I'm sitting at the back so I can't see anything at all. This is particularly unhelpful since the ethics of journalism, media and advertising is a topic which really does interest me on many levels - I have often thought that later in my life I will probably work in advertising, since whenever I see an ad I think of a million ways by which to improve it & often thoughts cross my mind regarding how to market products... Not that this has much to do with this lecture, but I'm sitting here feeling particularly useless and blind, so I suppose writing this is better than being on Facebook...

In other news, I am currently coming third in the votes for the Channel V presenter search 2012 - I was coming second, but a random contestant popped up overnight, beating the guy in front of me by 30,000 votes... Weird. Very weird. Oh well, I currently have over 6,000 votes which will guarantee my position in the next round of auditions, which is all I'm really bothered about; from there I can wow them with my charm, charisma & musical knowledge... Or something!

I'm lucky enough to have received 'promotion' for my entry from Tumblr user JamJars, YouTube user Munky King and, for some inexplicable reason, some kind of One Direction YouTube channel. This help, coupled with my own support from my Tumblr followers, has pretty much secured my place in the top three voting contestants, which means the world to me.

Anyway, back to ethics...

Ethics raise the questions:

  1. How do we know what is right and wrong?
  2. How do we differentiate between ethical and unethical?
  3. How do we decide what's right & what's wrong?
  4. What is the difference between the bad, the wrong, and the simply tacky?
  5. How do we work all this out?
There are three paradigms that we use in understanding ethics:

Deontology - a rules and principle based theory. You do the right thing by following a specific set of rules, regardless of your own personal opinions. There are Ethical Codes across all facets of society, and when working for specific companies and businesses, journalists would do well to abide by these rules.
What sorts of rules are embedded in the Journalism Code of Ethics?
  • Honesty
  • Fairness
Journalists are not ethically required to be objective - simply fair and balanced. It is not in the PR, nor the advertising code of ethics either.

Consequentialism - it doesn't matter how you get there as long as you get the right outcomes. The end may in fact justify the means - it also relates to the outcome being of the greatest good FOR THE GREATEST NUMBER; this is important in considering the idea of "sacrificing the one for the needs of the many".
One of the great myths in consequentialism is that whatever the majority thinks is right - we can use the example of Adolf Hitler's majority vote in the democratic election of 1933. 

Virtue - based on good dispositions of character.
Goodness (happiness) comes from good habits of character. These habits are 'virtues' such as courage, justice, temperance and prudence; these habits are arrived at through experience. For example, one only learns to be courageous from being rash and cowardly in the past; as it is the middle ground.

The difference between Virtue Ethics and Deontological Ethics is that virtue ethics are internal and intristic; one is not simply 'following the rules' - attributes of character are developed over time and they are tempered by experience, thus more valuable a quality in a journalist. Anyone can follow the rules and that is all well and good; but virtue based ethics of journalism make for honest stories.

Every ethical theory fits into one of the above. Dr. Harrison says so! Haha.

There are all sorts of rules embedded within society - for example if you murder someone, there are consequences for it. This is not an absolute rule; there are exemptions, for example in self defence, law enforcers, etc. The military has complete exemption from this rule.
Thus, we must recognise the dimensions of societal principles.
An example of this is working journalists having to respect private property - it is possible for a celebrity to sue a journalist or photographer for taking a photograph of them outside their house; but not for taking a photograph of them at a red carpet event. This is a tough 'rule' to follow as it's a hard line to cross. For example, I think I remember a photograph of Hillary Duff performing fellatio on her husband in their own home going around the internet, and I have a feeling that she would have been able to sue the paparazzo who took & published the image. This is something I'd like to look up.

What codes are there:
  • MEAA Code
  • PRIA Code
  • AFA Code - one of the best ones, apparently
  • AANA Code

Point of interest:
Multiple times throughout this lecture, we were asked if we had any questions.
Multiple times throughout this lecture, I put my hand up because I had questions.
Multiple times throughout this lecture, other people's questions were answered.
Multiple times throughout this lecture, I was looked at in the eyes by our guest lecturer, and was ignored.
This makes me feel like a very valued member of this course.
I promise.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hi, thanks for leaving a comment!