In our journalism class, our professor asked an ethical question:
If you were a journalist and saw a man set himself on fire, would you help him or would you record the story?
WHAT?!! Is this even a question?
Apparently it is. Some journalists will capture a story without helping a victim and do so without the slightest regret. Based on the discussion that ensued after the question was posed, it seems that this practice is quite common. The examples of these horrific acts were numerous.
Are these people human? Is this what it has come to? If I want to be successful journalist and win a prestigious award, I would not interfere with a person who needs immediate help. I would stand by, record the suffering, watch the death while cold blood pumps through my heart in my empty tin chest just so I can further my career.
There should be a human cruelty law against this practice. It’s sickening.
I need some feedback fellow bloggers. In my journalism class, we use a blog hosted by a local newspaper to publish student produced journalism stories. Our professor, who is a former journalist herself, is the mediator and administrator for this site. As such, she uses in the same way she would if it were a print article being published in a newspaper. Yet it is on a blog. So we receive comments.
Some are quite colorful.
We received one this week that was more of a rant, and it was hardly constructive. Likely it was also filled with half truths.
Our professor posed the question: Should this comment be approved for the entire readership to see?
We debated this for most of the class period. There are two schools of thought in this sharp divide:
One group feels we should approve the comment. It is a blog after all and blogs are intended to foster open dialogue and everyone is allowed to their opinion. Since the blog was free of obscenities or profanity – put it out there. If you start deleting comments, then you are only publishing comments that share your perspective. By doing so, you are shaping the topic in your own way and this a form of censorship. Even though we use it for journalistic learning it is a blog and we should allow all perspectives to enter into the dialogue. Even if we may think it the comment is absurd.
The second group feels that we should maintain the integrity of our journalistic endeavors. Since we will not be investing our time to investigate any of the accusations in the comment we cannot ethically publish them. We should not give an audience to this type of authorship. A newspaper does not publish every letter to the editor, and we shall run this blog in the same discriminating spirit. This comment may invite another and it may run away from us in an acerbic dialogue that will take away the value and the good writing of the original piece.
Before I reveal my thoughts on the matter, tell me which side of the fence do you fall on?
Image taken from: Google Images, Censorship
The first couple of days of school are so overwhelming. This is when you review the syllabus, which is just a guideline of what is going to happen in the class. It gives you a layout of when things are due. Because you are seeing it all at once, you start to get overwhelmed. You start thinking, “Oh my goodness, I can’t do this. I should run out of here right now”. “What have I gotten myself into?” Or some such thoughts.
And that is exactly what I am going through at this moment.
It isn’t the volume of work that is intimidating me, I’ll get it all done. I am in a panic about the nature of the work. The one that is bothering me the most is a Journalism class. As I confessed on my very first blog in February – I’d like to be a writer, but I am really not. My writing is so woefully imperfect. If you have been reading along, then you know it too. I am writing this blog to entertain – mostly myself.
So yes, I am freaking out. Add to it my feeling for journalism, which isn’t always positive. I don’t need a crystal ball to know how this is going to turn out.
Hey, at least we’ll have some laughs as I make what will undoubtedly be an embarrassing attempt to become a “journalist” a semester.
Sounds like a snooze fest right? That is exactly what I thought until I went to one class. I am not sure if it is the subject matter that makes this class so good or if it is the professor. He is the calmest, coolest cat around. I feel so relaxed after leaving this class that I feel like I do after a yoga class. Invigorated and refreshed.
We have to write 2, 25 page papers for this class. Writing! 🙂
But we have to write about media ethics. Hmmm…
And we have to sound intelligent about it. Hmmm…
I guess the thing that really freaks me out is that it is a research paper. You have to do research. Which is fine, but I really don’t know how to go about researching anything credible – well beyond Google and Wikipedia that is. How do you research a topic without reading half of the library? How do you weed it down? Is it even necessary in this day and age to go to the library? Do I have to go to the library and confess to the librarian that I am a graduate student that knows nothing about research? Can’t I sit here in my jammies to research on my computer?
I think it is a travesty that I have graduated from college without learning this critical skill. I think this should be a course that you take right after you are accepted. Speaking of ethics, I don’t think that it is ethical that research is not emphasized in the college curriculum, darn it!
I may just have to go to the student services center and see if they can help me. Yuck. Maybe I will just start with Google. I will start a search of “how to do educational research”. Does this seem humorous to anyone else?
If any of you reading this now and would like to impart some words of wisdom, boy would I be appreciative.