This week's lecture was presented by guest lecturer, Donna Meiklejohn who covered the topic of Ethics in Communication.
Firstly, how do you know what it ethical and what isn't? When answering this question, one must consider their own moral compass and what, to them, is considered right and wrong, good and bad, ethical and unethical. An individual's moral compass is made up of their own values, morals, instincts and of course their parent's influence on their upbringing. In journalism in particular, there is a very fine line between what should and shouldn't be published.
Journalists aim to use the Ethics Theory when deciding whether or not to publish a story. Ethics theory has many subcategories such as: Deontology, Consequentialism and Virtue Ethics
Deontology is the process of following rules, codes, principles and duties as a professional. All ethic code are deontology
Consequentialism essentially, is the greatest good for the greatest number or is getting a 'good' or 'right' outcome is the only thing that matters. A journalist must put aside how they got to this story originally as the end product will justify all the means.
This is when a journalist has to think to themselves - 'is this the type of person I want to be?'
If one has morally good habits or dispositions of character normally they will make the right decision.
Journalist also have many codes they should follow by before publishing anything. Some of these codes include: Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA), Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) and the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA). Sometimes these codes fail as they are only as powerful as the sanctions behind it and the willingness of the code keepers to enforce those sanctions