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Ethics in the Media

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However, political correctness is discovered to be a means of quieting the press, controlling what it says and reducing our ability to accurately communicate because of the words it continuously removes from the lexicon and the shifting nature of definition. “For the first time in our history, [citizens] have to be fearful of what they say, of what they write, and of what they think. They have to be afraid of using the wrong word, a word denounced as offensive or insensitive, or racist, sexist, or homophobic” (Lind, 2000).

The dangerous nature of political correctness when applied to the media setting is perhaps no where more evident than in the process of reporting on the news. From limiting what we say to being forced to point out where we received that information, the concepts of political correctness point to a path of much greater restriction and organizational control than we, as Americans, would like to consider. A free press serves to enlighten the public regarding governmental activities. The value of uncensored information to the continuance of democracy cannot be understated.

In a society that governs itself, such as the U. K., the ability to make knowledgeable decisions based upon unfiltered information and open discussions is vital to its continued existence. Perhaps Abraham Lincoln articulated this sentiment as well as anyone when he stated, “Let the people know the facts, and the country will be safe” (Krimsky, 1997). The author of the Declaration of Independence, founder of America’s first University and third president Thomas Jefferson believed that liberty depended upon a free press and to limit this fundamental freedom would be to lose it altogether, along with it the freedoms of the nation’s citizens.

According to Jefferson, “The basis of our government being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right” (Kann, 2006). These principles applied in the US are equally valued here in the UK. Journalists are the conduit that carries this right of the people. It might be argued that simply limiting some of the language one might use does not constitute limiting the subjects that can be discussed, but the practice of political correctness as it has been discovered on college campuses reveal the falsity of that assumption.

“The totalitarian nature of Political Correctness is revealed nowhere more clearly than on college campuses, many of which at this point are small ivy covered North Koreas, where the student or faculty member who dares to cross any of the lines set up by the gender feminist or the homosexual-rights activists, or the local black or Hispanic group, or any of the other sainted ‘victims’ groups that PC revolves around, quickly find themselves in judicial trouble.

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preview essay on Ethics in the Media
  • Pages: 6 (1500 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Unsorted
  • Level: Masters
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