Ethics of the Indulgence Era
The establishment of ethical boundaries for a boundless generation.
The 21st century is a period known for its frivolousness and sense of entitlement. As the years progress these feelings are being applied to a variety of fields and professions, which raises the question of ethical boundaries.
Most recently, computer-based journalism has adopted this attitude of constant gratification. Although computers have been incorporated into much of daily life, for journalists computer-based communication and its ethical territory is unexplored.
News organizations in particular are under fire because, “nearly all traditional media worldwide have created online services, offering new ways to reach potential viewers,” said Dorothy A. Bowles and Diane L. Borden, writers of Creative Writing 6th Edition.
Because information can be transmitted so quickly editors are being questioned on whether or not the information they are positing is ethical.
“Is it ethical to forward a rumor about the death of a celebrity or should the publics’ comments on news stories be monitored or curtailed?” questioned Bowles and Borden.
As these questions arise, news organizations are exploring the ideas of ethics and what their job as journalists are. In fact many newspapers have decided to revise their own codes in order to maintain their standard of ethics in the computer age.
Because of the need for instant news and the ability to access news at any moment, the quality and validity of news is also being questioned. In the past, good journalists agreed that properly identifying the source of the story is an obvious ethical must. However, because anyone can submit information online under an assumed name maintaining ethical standards is a constant battle said Bowles and Borden.
Because of subjective cultural values and varying ethical views, an online code of ethics may never exist. However, through the proper teaching of print journalism and ethical standpoints, there is hope that one-day boundaries can be determined.
For a professional standpoint on computer ethics click here to hear Dean Wright, Reuters Global Editor for Ethics.
Also for all you social media users: Are you ethically social networking? Click here to find out!