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Journalism fraud is on the rising trend particularly following the globalization of communication channels through the internet and press that have provided a platform through which lies can be spread in huge quantities in a systematic plan as to imitate truth. The trend of the stories is to create a channel of stories that are linked to form a greater web of information that can pass for facts because of consistent writing. Consequently, the world society is questioning contemporary press ethics that govern journalism as a profession.
Stephen Glass wrote for many online and print magazines controversial articles that turned out to be untrue and factionary while using truer characters and mostly politicians to advances his opinion. The legality of journalism lies and particularly in regard to justification for information that is printed in the established media houses can mislead the public into adopting a discriminative or stereotypical perspective about world events and ideas. For instance, in the case of Glass he created a network of conferences, fake websites and voicemails about ground breaking conference meetings that assert evidence about spying reports that implicate personalities. On the contrary, the purported meetings and networks of companies remained fictitious. Research entails giving people true facts from half-truth that most journalists develop to assert assumptions and try to create verify articles. Bad journalism is tarnishing the goal of mass communication. Globalization is a thriving force behind mass communication and technology innovations that have seen the expansion of electronic information technology that has given journalist that unanimous face to articulate ideas without being questioned to establish the primary source of each article item.
The New Republic Magazine featured invented stories with falsified characters in order to get through the editorial panel for publishing. Evidently, the urge for more money is creating bad journalism from the perspective of Glass’s movie in which the author made up stories in order to make a living. Journalism deception is the art of mastering the art fabricating stories without analyzing the moral impacts of bad journalism in the society.
Professionals from diverse industries have complained about insensitive reports contained in different mass media platforms; most critics have emphasized that media houses are to blame for not checking the bloated unethical journalism behavior among reporters. Legal experts have asserted that bad journalism is unlikely to continue in future since legislations are being formulated to allow affected persons and cultures to sue media houses that publish fabricated data and information since every publishing firm is expected to justify the sources of controversial information. Doctors and nurses professions have been stereotyped in media and film as abhorrent professions; particularly, physicians are constantly complaining of being epitomized as inept and ravenous criminals. Such ill notions easily spill out into social blogs where sponsor reporters aim to gain the highest views possible thus spreading misconceptions that often affect the opinion of public.
Sensationalism is the main vice contributing to media profits since the general public is alert for to buy breaking new items and controversial ideology that create negative culture. Reporters are bent to write extravagant assumptions about doctor reports and claims about fictitious research. Though reports are being blamed, the culture of miscommunication between different styles of research used by academic and journalism such that while education system interprets and asserts ideal facts; journalism on the other hand is comprised of reporting current events of research such that reports of study under progress can be misquotes by the reported. Inaccuracies tend to be designed by different communication systems that are formulated by education research that use different and sometime complicated language that differs significantly from journalism research styles and methods of communicating the results. The main challenge stumps from the manner in which academic research results are reported especially in statistical format that includes variance and standard deviations which few journalism experts have capacity to interpret. The main challenges affecting journalists is lack of scientific knowledge and skills to encourage proper interpretation and presentation of scientific knowledge. Education citations lack in press release and articles which is a major impediment in finding the truth about primary sources of information such that news items remain shrouded in doubt. However, the public is not predominantly trained to differentiate journalism truth from lies; neither are the editors and reviewing panelists trained to identify and ascertain fabricated research, thus miscommunications are likely to persist until a comprehensive code of identifying sources of information is formulated to check on journalistic abuses of data and information.
Yellow journalism is another vice that is undermining journalism ethics. According to Lawrence Strout (2003) Yellow Journalism is the deliberate reporting of ideas without much reference to facts causing what is commonly called logical fallacies. Moral experts assert that exaggerations of events create anxiety and excessive worry that is against the code of developing a health and happier nation. Racial exaggerated remarks by journalists have threatened ethnic harmony and in some cases severe racial acrimony can a war. Moreover, religious misquotes such as misuse of Islamic artifacts has caused turbulent social protects aimed at rebuking unethical journalism that makes fun of religious icons. Therefore, ethical journalism is about creating absolute tolerance and consideration for different approaches and beliefs that diverse peoples embrace depending of different cultured backgrounds. Misinterpretation of sensitive information can create hardliners critics who can start even wars to counter being bullied. For instance the Spanish American War was highly influenced by misinterpretation of events by yellow journalism (Strout, 2003).
Similarly, the society lacks tactics to debunk information as printed in mass media and the internet. Assumptions are used to drive public opinion. Public opinion influences socioeconomic and political policies. Therefore, it is very easy for reporters to consort to use scanty statistics about a research with the intention to use many websites to spread lies about political administrations as in the case of Glass spreading rumors about political events that never took place. Another aspect that is causing a lot of public concern in American is the commonality of regional newspaper content such that the same stories are reported only with paraphrasing of main ideas. For instance websites and American Newspapers tend to contain uniform content with duplicated events delivered using ostentatious content delivery variables that are much like yellow journalism. Yellow journalism is unethical since the information delivered using breaking news create unjustifiable apprehension and fear. Controversial news items either in the internet or mass media is intended to captivate the public to make guided opinions that bandwagon the whole society into adopting a certain perspective of interpreting information.
Ethical journalism entails reporting events while minding to maintain accuracy. Precise reporting of news events is considered ethical whenever fairness and tolerance to the crosscutting cultural differences that encourage social creativity and harmony. Sometimes journalist create pathos situations that need dire consideration such as a catchy research revealing about how four people affected by a given health condition reflects national unhealthy eating habits. Distortion of ideas and statistics create emergence reaction in public; for example leaking out of erroneous clinical information can cause outrageous feedback. Sometimes quotes have been misquoted in a manner that creates a contrasting implication contrary to the true account of the information in order to create a compelling story that is easily published compared to common social stories (Ransohoff, 2001).
Hollywood journalism that is structured through story telling techniques equally presents lies and half truths sometimes. The film industry is a huge trade that is controlling the culture of American and the world at large. The American culture of identity and self-appreciation has been regulated by Hollywood that is always producing movies that meet the catchy eye of the public but the ideas within the film describe extreme violence and intrigue. Heroic characters lack moral direction and win out of using unethical standards of defeating the enemy such as killing or harming the enemy instead of facing and confronting the enemy to reform the villain character. On the contrary, Hollywood has produced movie that reveal rte media culture of assuming ethics. The movies “Network” and “The Insider” detail events about how media executives use the media freedom of speech to manipulate the opinion of society (Ehrkich, 2004). Cases like journalists using stereotypical characters to advance a theory while absolving the whole journalistic blame into one character in the story who later confesses for doing wrong citing ignorance is blatant case of demagoguery.
In conclusion, the “Shattered Glass” is classic recording of how bad journalism that is eventually celebrated and in the character of Glass though he apologizes, the journalistic vice is still imprinted in them media. Though the media is constantly asserting to reporters to maintain journalism main ethics like clarity, integrity and fairness when reporting; however, media houses, magazines and online content websites lack mechanism to curtail proliferation of exaggerated, sensational and fictitious news.
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