Monday, January 24, 2011

Reflection No.1- 20 Jonathan Soh Wei Ping

1 .It is important as some opinions could be read as facts and there are sometimes grey areas which cannot be classified as facts or opinions. Furthermore, some opinions can be read as facts and these opinions could sometimes be unethical which will give rise to further problems. To a journalist, his or her work has to be precise and yet immediate. Thus, facts and opinions are important to a journalist. As a journalist’s work has fast, precise yet ethical, a journalist may face problems facts and opinions and will not be able to discern them apart. It revolves around the issues of honesty, fairness, independence and respect for the rights of others.Another ethical consideration in online journalism is the way information and pictures can be archived indefinitely and accessed from around the globe (Bowd, 2002: 41-59.) This means that any mistakes and ethical breaches would be more damaging and widespread. Incorrect information may be archived and the misinformation passed on to web-users accessing the archives.
The problems can be controlled with constant monitoring of the hyperlinks and websites that the links lead to. This is to prevent any inaccurate, offensive or inappropriate material from being potential problems. Furthermore, if the quality of the materials found on the website is substandard, a reader could misinterpret it and this could lead to problems concerning any material that can be deemed unethical. If the information is somehow unethical, the website administrator could replace the link from another source that is more ethical. Furthermore, the Journalist’s Code of of ethics and other ethical guidelines have not been updated to reflect modern technology. This could lead to ethical problems as changes have not been made to journalism concerning online journalism.
Discerning readers could show good judgement by reading news articles that are from a reputable source. One reputable source would be the Straits Times Newspaper website. When reading the online article, a reader can separate facts from opinions and look out for potential unethical problems. This would then prevent the masses from knowing the wrong information. If there is any problems, the newspaper would have to issue a apology.

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