Communcation ethics and society

Public Editor: The New York Times A public editor oversees how proper journalism ethics are applied at a specific newspaper. They are, of course, still employees of the newspaper they judge, and while this could raise the speculation of possible bias, a newspaper with high ethical standards will just let the public editors do their jobs honestly. In The New York Times, the fifth public editor is Margaret Sullivan. She has her own blog and section in the newspaper where she discusses the newspaper’s journalism performance and handles comments and questions from readers. Her major role is to guard the integrity of journalism of the newspaper. Despite being the newspaper’s employee, “ her opinions are her own” (Sullivan, “ About the Public Editor”). If the position serves its true purpose, the results and effects of having a public editor is toward ensuring journalistic credibility and integrity. It also gives the newspaper a more positive reputation in the eyes of the readers. A journalist’s ethics greatly affect the newspaper and its readers because the ethical standards are what guarantee accuracy, fairness, and clarity in journalism.
Q1: In the diffusion of innovation theory, can it be assumed that information that the masses receive are already fated from the beginning (Fuchs 13), thus leaving the masses with no choice regarding what is presented to them?
A1: The masses are given information according to its importance. It is crucial, however, to ensure that the importance is based not on biases, but on neutral values.
Q2: According to the media information utility theory, people in urban locations turn to various forms of media for information (Fuchs 16). With the influx of social networking sites providing vast amounts of information to people (Fuchs 18), how can newspapers guarantee that they are not swayed by the want and need to provide “ breaking news” (that proliferate in such sites) in order to compete?
A2: Accuracy, fairness, and clarity of information should come above the need of wanting to be first.
Works Cited
Fuchs, Christian. “ A Contribution to Theoretical Foundations of Critical Media and
Communication Studies.” Javnost. 16. 2 (2009): 5-24. Print.
Sullivan, Margaret. “ About the Public Editor.” The New York Times. The New York Times
Company, n. d. Web. 28 Mar. 2013.