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Media Ethics

This week was all about the positive and negative effects of business, media, political, healthcare/medical, internet, educational institutions and sports ethics. The class was quite interesting because it started with an interesting game. We were divided into groups and given names of animals. Each of us had to find our respective group by making the sound of the animal we are. It was fun. Then each group was given a topic from above and we had to give points on the good and bad side of it. Our group was given the topic on Media ethics and therefore I choose this topic to analyze deep in more as the entry for my reflection diary today.

Media ethics is the subdivision of applied ethics dealing with the specific ethical principles and standards of media, including broadcast media, film, theatre, the arts, print media and the internet.  Speaking about the media in general, our life will remain incomplete without the media. The radio, television, newspaper and internet are some forms through which we get information. Just like other fields, a vast development is seen in media fields.

People believe the news given by the media. So, the media should be very careful before giving any news to the public. They have to cover important happenings, in all the fields, around the world. There is no use in creating emotional feelings among public by exaggerating the happenings and giving sensational news. The media persons should be cautious in giving unbiased news to the common persons.  The media cover news of public interest such as political happenings, sports, city news, national news, international news, business, education, entertainment, literature and medical news. The news should satisfy all men, women and children of various age-group and status. To increase circulation of newspapers, the media people should not publish false news.

The media has a lot of advantages. It is an important tool to get information from various fields. First, the common man gets the latest news within a fraction of a second. The distance is not at all a barrier now. The news they get through media help them in their daily life a lot. Second, the media helps common people to exchange information and it acts as a common platform. The public get knowledge and awake to raise questions, on seeing the news in newspaper and TV. Second, it is a source of entertainment and leisure. The cartoon channels make the children happy and the older generations can enjoy themselves via soap operas or watching sports etc. Third, the media helps to bring out the hidden talents of the people. The children learn many good things through media. Fourth, by reading newspaper, the children learn many things, their reading habit increases and their vocabulary enhances by learning new words. Their knowledge increases by watching geographical channel, quiz programs and speeches by famous personalities of different fields. Fifth, the games increase their logical thinking power and grasping of things. The attitude, approach and behavior of the common people will also change, when exposed to media. Last but not least, the media conducts polls and let public to take part in social issues. Through blogging in the internet and writing letters to the editor in newspapers, many people give voice about their opinion in different political and social matters.

As it has its positives, it also has its negatives; just like a sword. There’s an Arabic saying that says that a sword has two sharp sides. This means that that anything has two sides about it; the positive and the negative. First, over exposure to media may cause health problems also. The advertisements shown in TV and newspaper have got both positive and negative impact. The children learn violence by seeing movies and TV programs. They imitate super heroes they see in the screen which may cause danger to their life. The over exposure to media make them behave more aggressively, which spoils their future also. Second, some false news given in the newspaper may raise blood pressure and create negative feelings in the mind. Third, the middle-aged persons are stuck up with TV series and show much interest in raising social status, by wasting money. Fourth, the children get immense pleasure in playing video games and they spend hours together before computer, surfing through internet. They see both the good and the bad things through media. The parents should make the children to play outdoor games and do physical exercise, diverting their attention from the media. Lastly, the fashion shows, dance and music programs attract youngsters very much. They like to spend money for makeup, clothing and jewels on the influence of models and actors. The youngsters wish to take part in these programs, which are unsuitable for many persons.

The media has many advantages as well disadvantages. If one uses it properly, there is a lot of goodness to be gained. On the other hand, if someone uses it in the wrong way or with ignorance, it could be a source of his own destruction. We should filter and control what we watch or read from the media. We should stay away from channels that contain pornographic materials or provide false information to the public. The media if not used properly, could be a source of brainwashing.

Mohamed Yusuf Mohamed


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