With the number of mass media platforms as well as increasing skills in the current world, it is open that several ethical issues about the media are there. According to several studies the most prevailing issues all over the world include stereotypes, inaccuracy and invasion of people’s privacy, conflict of interest, payola, media femininity and media dishonesty as well as bias (Fairclough, 2013). These ethical concerns appear through several media platforms like journalism, advertising, the internet and public relations.
Ethical Responsibility and Mass Media have a compound association among them. Mass media might simply be well-defined as routes of Communication aimed to spread to the Public thru various coded, visual and verbal platforms and means. Some platforms are; 1) Books/ Newspaper 2) Internet 3) Motion Picture/Television 4) Social Media 5) Radio 6) Gaming. Media corporations generate a lot of revenues throughout the world (Boyd and Crawford, 2012).
As technology advances, it has brought about bigger invasions of people’s privacy. The technologies comprises of long ranging cameras, helicopters as well as monitoring emails. It appears that confidentiality is an issue that is simply broken into whenever the media as well as its audiences are referred to. It is challenging for people’s information to be kept private, which makes this such a significant ethical concern (Zeng and Gerritsen, 2014). For example, Facebook changed the privacy settings of the people in the year 2014 and has allowed accessibility of consumers’ smartphone microphones for songs, analyze, television shows as well as other interests.
The choice of which story to cover as well as how frequently particular stories should be covered might influence the perception of the society on particular groups of individuals, including ethnic and racial group. Regardless of these changes as well as greater people’s attention about diversity concerns, minority groups’ underrepresentation is up to now a concern in every area of the media (Potter, 2013). As a matter of fact, the development in recent time has been deteriorating. According to a recent research, the NAACP stated that the sum of minority artists on network TV has essentially reduced, from 334 during the season of 2002–2003 to 308 four years from then. Stereotypes based on races are not a concern in only entertainment media, but they as well penetrate into the news reporting that is a method of storytelling. Reporters, Journalists, and editors are still in the majority when it comes to stereotypes.
Stereotyping gender characters is still thriving in the media platforms. Women are time and again characterized as minor to their counterparts who are male. They are as well represented as emotional, sweet natured, noncompetitive, and domestic (Lippi-Green, 2012). Different from these types of women, others are characterized as cruel, crazy, or unattractively masculine. In television sitcoms and dramas, women are still filling traditional parts such as nurses, mothers, secretaries, as well as housewives.
Conflict of interest
Different people’s concern in the mass media differs, Therefore it is difficult to decide the correct thing that one should do. News operators are often afraid of reporting stories concerning advertisers because they may lose business they get from them. In current's competitive journalistic atmosphere, clashes of interest among news channels and the subjects are very common (Lupton, 2013). Even though most establishments have a well-known code of ethics, they are not mandatory or enforced. Due to this, it is more justifiable and easier for Medias not to follow these rules that just compromises their reporting credibility and integrity.
Bribing people to be given air time might as well employ reverse payola that often comprises threats. Parties paying radio stations so that they play a particular artist (both in cash and in goods). This exercise has obvious consequences: when radio play is bought with money, some artists receive more publicity than other does (Ball, 2012). Exposure is fundamental for an artist to succeed in music industry, as well as in a model world, the people's response to songs and artists themselves should dictates who get the big share of the mass media exposure.
Normative Theories Applied to Media Principles
The ethical code for media overcomes choice for ethical conduct in the business. The efficiency of the ethical code of behavior put in place by the companies determine dominance of intricate ethical concerns (Liyanagunawardena, Adams and Williams, 2013). They include the internal choices, being impartial, presenting proofs rather than views, and other things of this nature. How real codes of conduct applied by media groups will openly be determined by the certainty of the reporter concerning just how significant principles in journalism are for the people.
Utilitarianism: Were steps taken with an aim of welfare, practicality as well as increasing happiness?
The most persuading policy on media principles is the ethical concept of utilitarianism. This significant concept details that the measurements of right as well as wrong is subject to the greatest group of individuals. Its values match with the ethical code of behavior convoluted within Mass media business practices as well as responsibilities. Major consequences of utilitarianism’s prevalent is the critical thought that is missing when deciding for compound ethical issues, like individual rights against greatest population (Crane and Matten, 2016). The weakness experienced within utilitarianism have got mass media industries seek ethical importance by observing a code of conduct directed by the business to which was considered moral.
A very ideal example in latest Ethical Concerns faced by businesses is the instance of Facebook International, who did a research on consumers' emotions, igniting soul-searches amongst mass media platforms in the year 2014 while being referred for better moral strategies in the connected world (Marcuse, 2013). It created various serious ethical concerns for the corporation regarding approval of the consumers and their confidentiality, Probability that the consumers have been affected by the research in a psychological and emotional state as well as Security of Customers’ Information and Data.
Virtue Ethics and Ethical Egoism
Egoism is a different viewpoint of a normative concept, which states that any act is referred to as ethical when it assists in obtaining an anticipated goal, anything avoiding to attain that objective is unprincipled in nature (Baker and Hesmondhalgh, 2013). An immediate analysis is there with the point that says, we must be concerned about other persons only when it profits us. The challenge is that all acts might be safeguarded by simply saying that you did so for your best interest.
Nevertheless, the moral character is significantly highly recommended within the mass media profession. The perception of personality focused as well as morality based theory is the thing that is provided from the Golden mean of Aristotle (Boyd and Crawford, 2012). The editorial idea of fairness shows the impression of compromise and moderation, or as it is stated by Aristotle, virtues as the means between two different extremes. Further extending this might be realized in Kant’s definite authoritative “Act on the maxim that you will to come to be a common law. The model enforces to choose activities by probing the query, what would come about when everybody acted in this manner. Because of the Decent code of conducts in the media industry, objectivity as well as an ethical good character must have been established over time. However in latest years the business has been disappearing far from it (Goetsch and Davis, 2014). The significance in relation to ethical teaching and morals is the thing that is absent in the mass media business and current society.
Ethical Theory is referred to as Normative when it purpose to advise the morally upright approach of acting. According to the volume “Four theories of the media”, the writers define 4 normative concepts that quote “mostly expressing ideas of the way the media can be or should be anticipated to work under an available set of values and conditions." The following frameworks and theories have been set in the recent fast growing media business in reaction to ethical problems (Theaker, 2017).
- Libertarian, Social Responsibility and Authoritarian Theory
Libertarian theory defines that people are coherent and the rational point of view makes them to choose what are bad and what are good (Thompson, 2013). The press must not limit anything even if it is an adverse content might offer knowledge and might make better choice whilst worst circumstances. Nevertheless, implications like the WikiLeaks network publishing restricted and confidential collections to the people, operating against the government and the authority, have made many states to not tolerate such activities.
Authoritarian theory inflicts an egoistic model, which every form of communications is under the regulation of the ruling authorities or elite or influential administrators (Boyd and Crawford, 2012). Censorship is a good example that suppresses all contents that may be thought detrimental to the nation, people, or the government. Netflix was started in the year 2016 in India having all their unique content. Editing is an extremely sensitive matter within India, whereby Netflix a main multimedia distribution company disregarded such issue made them to encounter legal challenge down the course (Silverman, 2016).
The Societal responsibility theory permits free media without any restriction, however at the similar time the detail of the mass media must be deliberated in media and public panel. They must receive any requirement from professional self-regulations or public interference or both of them (McDaniel and Gates, 2013). It has assisted to create competence in the mass media business permitting Consumer action, Community opinions, as well as expert ethics.
- Uses as well as Gratification Theory
Uses as well as Gratification concept advocated by Katz, is focused on the way people apply media for fulfilment of their requirements. The result of the Abraham Maslow's Order of Requirements, it proposes the point that people select what they need to read or see as well as the diverse media strive to satisfy everybody’s desires (Vaismoradi, Turunen, and Bondas, 2013). A very ideal model of its current application might be seen in several Social Media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook where necessity to vent destructive feelings, recognition, as well as cognitive necessities inspire contents from several individuals.
Likewise the Market of concepts model have an opinion that concepts must be tabled before the people who will select the superlative marketplace. It confines Government regulation as well as putting faith in the people to make choices of what gratification they deserve to get. The Internet might be reflected as an open sphere maintaining the ideal of “Open market of Concepts”. Applying the stand, the line between Consumers and Media Producers have been distorted (McLaren, 2015). Sites like WordPress, BlogSpot and Facebook have employed internet statistics to draw their consumers in a great scale.
- It is significant to differentiate what material the people has the right to receive, needs to receive and wishes to receive.
- Women should be given more strong characters in the production of the television show and movies. It is also known that we as well get more strong female roles on TVs, womenfolk who are multi-dimensional and more real.
- Credibility of the journalists is a very important issue. One cannot expect to be fruitful if they let their editorial honesty to suffer for they might not escape conflict of interests.
- As it is currently, payola is illegal but still widespread. The Governments ought to impose tough rules to make sure that just the mass media training institutes, which meet the necessary principles are permitted to operate.
- Media owners must appraise the prevailing salary structures as well as improving remuneration to prevent journalists from being manipulated by monetary rewards in order to sacrifice expert standards.
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