Filed under: J840 Week 4, Society + Media | Tags: Dole, Ethics, journalism, Orwell, Sinclair
How do we define unacceptable story telling? Do journalists have to go ‘too far’ to sell their publications?
“I aimed at the public’s heart, and by accident hit its stomach”Upton Sinclair speaking about his 1906 book; The Jungle.
Sinclair’s socialistic message was lost when readers realized that their food supply was potentially deadly. Sinclair’s writing triggered the establishment of the Federal Pure Food and Drug and Meat Inspection Act of 1906 (FDA precursor). The nation’s food supply could have sickened or killed thousands of people if Sinclair’s editor had suppressed the book for bias or advocacy reasons.
What happens when a reporter’s personal integrity is overruled by their desire to champion a cause?
Where does reality meet social responsibility?
All varieties of Journalism can be extremely powerful and influential. Mankind is fallible and should exercise care when weilding any type of power. For the everyday Joe-bag-o-doughnuts the media may be his only advocate; an advocacy we cannot afford to lose.
When does advocacy become abuse of power? Does a ‘good’ reporter stick to facts; do they strive to educate or to persuade the reader?
Each of us must be responsible for judging the truth of what is reported or we will have to rely on governmental oversight. Allowing government to control our media means facing the same governmental dictates George Orwell wrote about in Animal Farm and 1984.
“Early in life I had noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper.” George Orwell
We must be mindful that the more something is abused, the more likely it will be placed under governmental controls. Perhaps Big Brother would do a better job?
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