Ethics Of Editing In News Storytelling

1567 words - 7 pages

One quote from my readings says, “Under the protections and privileges of a free press is the responsibility to be fair.” Journalists make decisions while editing news. Each decision involves value judgments. Decisions have consequences that are direct and indirect as well as deliberate and not deliberate. Moreover, journalists’ decisions affect real human beings. Those decisions can sway thousands of people’s attitudes on topics such as political problems. Just as producers and reporters are expected to be careful selecting words and facts, photojournalists and editors have to apply the same amount of ethical professionalism and accuracy in editing images and sound. Editing in news ...view middle of the document...

Journalists have to work ethically, which means acting and thinking morally. To be moral means to tell between right and wrong. According to scholars, ethics isn’t something people have; it’s something people do. Ethics isn’t merely an order to “do right.” It’s a method for reaching that goal.
Journalists and editors have all the control. They can be a celebrity or an important public figure’s worst nightmare. Reason being, editors in the media have the control to build someone up or break them down. With just one story a journalist can ruin the image of anyone. By unethically tampering with video and interview clips or unethically piecing together different video clips to make it look as if something different happened, editors can make it appear as if the person in the story said something completely different and false. For example, numerous reality television show participants fail to read the fine print in their contracts. What they’re missing in this fine print in applications for reality shows such as the Real World or ABC’s The Bachelor and The Bachelorette is an important statement warning all applicants that by signing their contracts they give up the right to have any control and give the network complete rights to edit video in any way to the network’s advantage.
Ethical journalists possess important qualities. The first is good decision-making skills, which continually improve through training and experience. The second is a good energy and a positive attitude. Respect for co-workers, a determination to make a positive difference for one’s viewers and community, and a passion for what one does for a living are all a “must” as well. It’s important to understand how to keep a good ethical stability in the face of the rough personal and professional challenges journalists and editors confront, and how to stay focused, driven, and empowered.
Numerous issues exist regarding ethics—especially in and exploiting grief. People question the methods some journalists and editors use to portray the news. Surveys have found that over half of adults in the United States believe media isn’t concerned about the people on whom they report. According to statistics and research 73 percent believe the media has no respect for people’s privacy. People are particularly critical of the manner in which the media covers death and tragedy by photographing and interviewing victims and mourning relatives. Ethics demand editors to be considerate to victims and people’s sense of integrity while editing and presenting a story. The visual coverage of disasters, 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, has tested numerous editors as well. They search for appropriate balance between providing the public with what it should see without depicting unnecessarily gruesome images or stooping into sensationalism and exaggeration. Although editors use visual coverage to aid in telling a story, they frequently feel trapped. Should they protect the public from unpleasantness or educate...

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