Media Ethics Case Studies

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Media Ethics Case Studies

The purpose of this group is to share ethics case studies from different parts of the world, to  discuss them, and to provide to each other the bases of decision-making in different countries and cultures.

Members: 14
Latest Activity: Apr 1, 2014

Discussion Forum

Ethical Dead End of Print-First Strategy

Started by Valery Levchenko Jul 24, 2013. 0 Replies

Dear colleagues,I would like to see your comments on an ongoing case involving my employer, a news agency, and a popular daily newspaper. Please see my blog post here:…Continue

Tags: Agencies, News, Newspapers, Print-First

State of journalism ethics in Pakistan (My Column)

Started by Ahmed Noor Sep 3, 2012. 0 Replies

Here we go with state of journalism standards in Pakistan. My opinion on this issue was published on the pages of a leading English daily in Pakistan, The News International.…Continue

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Comment by Robert Fortner on May 29, 2012 at 19:11

Are there "universal" ethical "rules" for journalists, or are the ethics of journalists determined by culture? If you read the case I posted about Turkey, is it appropriate to evaluate the ethics of "Haber Turk's" editor based only on Islamic ethics, or is there some wider set of ethics that should be brought to bear on such a case?

Comment by Robert Fortner on May 11, 2012 at 9:04

This is what I  have in mind for this group and I hope all who join will have something to share from their own experience or knowledge. There are a variety of ways that the case following could be discussed, but as I am from the Western philosophical and ethical tradition, perhaps what I would say might not resonate in Turkey, whose traditions are more eastern and Islamic. What would be the proper response to the events described below?

The Treatment of Victims

In October 2011 the Istanbul daily, Haber Turk, published a photograph on its front page of Sefika Etik lying nude on a gurney (still alive at the time) with a knife sticking out of her back. She died on the way to the hospital and her husband was believed to be the one who had stabbed her. The editor of the newspaper, Fatih Altayli, said he had decided to put the photo on the front page so that readers could “see what domestic violence really is. I wanted to shock people.” The woman’s family protested the publication the next day and were joined by angry others. Some carried placards that declared “We don’t want media that are enemies of women,” and “Media, do not be an accomplice to violence.” Women’s rights lawyer Deniz Bayram called the publication an act of “media violence” that infringed on the victim’s rights and dignity. The editor Altayli described the protestors as “idiots” who knew nothing about “real life” or what it took to get the Turkish government to act on such issues. “I knew people would criticize me,” he said, “that they would say I was cruel, but someone had to do it. Another six women have been killed since her,” he added in an interview a few days after the event. Turkey’s Minister of Family and Social Policies, Fatma Sahin, rejected Altayli’s claims, saying on Turkish television that “If you use that kind of horrible picture on your front page and say you did this to raise awareness, you also [have to consider] the psychological health of society and children.” Cigdem Aydin, chairwoman of the Association for Education and Supporting Women Candidates, said in an interview, “Altayh’s explanation is not convincing. The biggest reaction to his use of the picture came from women’s rights organizations. It is a picture that uses pornography and violence to attract attention, and it did not attract attention to violence against women because it was not that.” But Ruhat Mengi, writing in the Vatan daily newspaper, said the picture was neither offensive nor as wrong as people claimed it to be. She quoted Serpil Sancar, head of the Ankara University Women’s Issues Center: “this photograph illustrates the violence women have to face. I don’t think showing the truth is bad. Seeing blood sets the conscience in motion.”

 

Between 2005 and August 2010, 4,100 women were killed in domestic violence in Turkey. A survey in 2008 found that 42% of all Turkish women had been victims of physical or sexual violence.

 

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