Media ethics & accountability systems by Claude-Jean Bertrand

By Claude-Jean Bertrand

Over the past few years, the O.J. Simpson case, then the Lewinsky-Clinton affair, and rankings of sweet sixteen scandals have ruled the U.S. press, usually taking priority over vital family and overseas matters. Tabloidization of the scoop media, either the following and overseas, proves that "the marketplace" can't insure media caliber. For media to operate good in a democracy, they need to be freed from either political and monetary muzzling. Bertrand argues the single resolution is so as to add self-regulation, or qc, by way of execs and public to marketplace and country legislation. during this debatable quantity, he defines a suite of responsibility systems-democratic, effective, and harmless-to insure real freedom and caliber of media. This short, hugely literate quantity makes a speciality of what's lacking within the philosophical foundations of media ethics. Media Ethics and responsibility structures zeroes in at the many nongovernmental equipment of imposing "quality control," and at the hassle of having the media microcosm to simply accept such responsibility. Bertrand proposes rethinking present "media responsibility structures" and production of recent ones. He observes that latest structures are rooted in 4 easy methods: education: schooling of voters in media use incorporating ethics classes in journalistic schooling; overview: feedback (positive and adverse) not just from politicians, consumerists, and intellectuals, yet from media execs themselves; tracking: by way of self sustaining, educational specialists over prolonged sessions of time; and suggestions: giving ear to a number of the segments of media clients and their wishes and tastes, instead of revenues and rankings. Media Ethics might be of specific curiosity to lecturers within the fields of communique and journalism, in addition to to the overall reader with an curiosity in public concerns and a civic difficulty for society.

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For media users, it means good service. For journalists, it implies a better product, higher credibility, increased prestige. For owners, it calls to mind the Japanese commercial success, hence bigger profits. Lastly it rhymes with action, not talk. Page 25 2 Principles and Values Nature and Effects of Media Media are part of the very complex social system of modern societies and of its many sub-systems. The whole operates as a vast living organism. Each element depends on the others. One deficient sub-system can cause the entire machine not to function properly.

The Communist Regime There media do not exist independently from a totalitarian State which has absorbed all institutions and industries: media operate like cogs in a gigantic machine. A concept like press freedom is irrelevant. That regime, inaugurated in Russia at the beginning of the 1920s was extended over Eastern Europe after 1945 then to China after 1949 and, in the 1960s to a large part of the Third World. 2 The first function of media is to lie, to hide whatever does not serve the interests of the ruling nomenklatura.

The mediocrity of media hurts even those who are to blame for it. Nearly everywhere, proprietors lament the decline of newspaper sales and of the time spent watching the major networks. Also the advertisers rightly worry about the credibility of the media in which they place their ads. Moreover, for a number of years, business people in general have shown more concern for the impact of the products they put on the market. 11 Both the bad and the good effects of technology have helped media ethics.

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