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Ethics Final

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By 36tymes
Words 913
Pages 4
1. Does the public have the right to know? How does this right figure into a discussion of media ethics? Please use at least one example to illustrate the importance of the public’s right to know and one to illustrate the conflict this can sometimes set up for a journalist seeking to report the facts accurately.

If we are to live in a society shaped and molded by virtue ethics, then the public has the right to know about what happens within our society, in order to make an informed consent. On the other hand, there are times that reporting information can cause more harm than good. The key concept to virtue ethics is balance; within ourselves personally and the society we live in. This balance cannot be achieved if we are prisoners in Plato’s cave of shadows. We would therefore be blind, basing our reasoning on false reality of the shadows we take as truths, which ultimately lead to flawed character development. We must maintain the ability to reason upon facts, being that what could potentially be kept from us might be detrimental in the development of our character and what we value as acceptable and not acceptable on a personal and social level. Sometimes there is a greater responsibility held by journalists than just informing the public, such as wartime situations where societies best interests and safety are involved. As it relates to media ethics, journalists hold the responsibility to uphold a virtuously high ethic of conduct when reporting information to society. Aristotle’s Golden Mean is a good tool to solve any media ethics problem because it offers one correct answer within the middle range of virtue. The key is determining how much information to share, between all and the bare minimum, but never none at all. This is where personal virtues like integrity, honesty, and honor play key roles in the decisions a journalist makes in what to...

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