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Media ethics

There’s a central dilemma at the heart of any debate about media ethics.
Bluntly, it’s similar to the debate that goes on in sex work circles about who is or isn’t a sex worker.
What constitutes a journalist?
I’m not a journalist. I’m a  blogger. WYSIWYG. It’s my opinions, and my efforts to  use evidence are nothing more than a commitment to respect the reader.
Now think about, say, the Daily Mail and its attack on Ralph Miliband’s reputation. What exactly distinguished that from blogging? Was there a commitment to something called journalism that is any different to blogging, or boring your mates in the pub?
Nick Cohen, in the Spectator, made a savage attack on Mehdi Hassan this weekend, calling him a hypocrite. In fact all Hassan has done is what journalists do, changing sidees as the tide changes.
Until journalists are willing to have the debate in public about the difference beetween opinion and journalism, and stop giving a platform to  untrained hacks who couldn’t get a job as speechwriters for their political friends the curse of ATL trolling like the Mail’s attack on Rlph Miliband’s reputation will continue to harm the reputation of journalism. It’s a question of ethics, and a fundamental rule that journalists need to enforce on their colleagues – opinion without evidence is not journalism.

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2 comments on “Media ethics

  1. michey1978
    October 7, 2013

    It’s always been a concern of mine that whils, I like blogs, and and really do like opinion pieces, but its important to distinguish between the two. Melanie Philips is a writer I do occasionally have time for, as long as she is understood to be an opinion maker and not a journalist.

    There has also been a number of newspapers – Telegraph and Indy particularly that have started blog sections – but, as much as there are exceptions – Dr.Magnanti in the Telegraph for example, the journalistic standards in those sections are much lower than they should.

    Blogs are great and good places to look for good writers, but I agree a blog is not a piece of journalism.

    Like

    • jemima2013
      October 8, 2013

      At least in those examples though they are open about the fact they are blogs, and I think indy voices is a great example of how to do it ethically. Something like the Mail front page tho, which was not news, as Ralph Milliband was a quite famous academic, was nothing more than a blog style opinion piece, and a badly written one at that

      Like

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This entry was posted on October 7, 2013 by in Uncategorized.

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