Journalism and Society P7, P8 and M4

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Ethics and Censorship

Unethical Journalism:

New York Times apologizes for ‘insensitive’ language in Berkeley article – The Irish Times

The New York Times broke the code of ethics in a report written 24 hours after the Berkeley balcony collapse tragedy, where a group of Irish teenagers lost their lives. In the article, offense to the families was caused due to the victims being described as “not just a source of aspiration, but also a source of embarrassment for Ireland”. This language came across as victim blaming, and was incredibly harmful during such a sensitive time.

Gareth Thomas: Journalist ‘told rugby player’s parents of HIV’ – BBC

The former rugby player’s privacy was invaded when the press got word of his HIV diagnosis. He had not discussed this matter with his family privately, and therefore was pressured into speaking about it. The journalist’s involved were incredibly unethical in the sense that they had no respect for his wishes regarding not making the matter public.

Ethical Journalism

Syria war: Tens of thousands of detainees still missing, UN says – BBC

The article follows the horrors of the huge number of those who have disappeared during 10 years of civil war in Syria. The journalist who wrote the article is ethical throughout the piece. This is due to them speaking respectfully upon those missing, acknowledging the war victims “unimaginable suffering” (which shows they are human, not just statistics), and protecting the identities of those who were brave enough to speak out by referring to them as “former detainee’s”.

Bobby Sands began his hunger strike 40 years ago today. What is its legacy? – The Irish Times

This article pays tribute to prisoner Bobby Sands in how he embarked on a hunger strike in protest of the British Government in order to end criminalization. The journalist who wrote the article remained ethical in the sense that they remained totally unbiased in their views of Sands. No opinion of what he did and stood for is mentioned (as this may differ for certain people), and the article is completely factual.

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