Media Ethics

Submitted By katymouse76
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A’Kayla Harris
Media Ethics
Dr. Meredith

It is not far-fetched to assume that when an individual heavily immersed in our media consumption strays away from tactics that seem logical, that they must be put under investigation. In order continue to be supported by the public, our radio and television station figureheads must make sure the news they’re covering is accurate. In the preamble of the Journalist code of ethics it states, “ Ethical journalism strives to ensure the free exchange of information that is accurate, fair and thorough. An ethical journalist acts with integrity.” When we find impartial facts or things that are altogether lies, it makes us question the credibility of the matter hand and statements from previous stories. This is exactly what happens to be the case for NBC’s veteran anchorman Brian Williams.

NBC news is investigating chief anchor Brian Williams because of his retracted statements regarding his experience in Iraq. During an interview with David Letterman near the 10-year anniversary of the attack, Williams said: “We were in some helicopters. What we didn’t know was we were north of the invasion. We were the northern-most Americans in Iraq. We were going to drop some bridge portions across the Euphrates so the Third Infantry could cross on them. Two of our four helicopters were hit by ground fire, including the one I was in by RPG’s and AK-47’s.” When Letterman asked what the helicopter’s altitude was when it was hit, Williams said, “We were only at a hundred feet doing a hundred forward knots because we had these massive pieces of bridge beneath us on slings.” Williams story begin to unravel after he aired a segment on “NBC Nightly News” about a night he spent with Army Sgt. Major Tim Terpack who was a part of the unit that came to help Williams and the others stranded in the desert. When the segment was published on Facebook, Lance Reynolds, the flight engineer of the aircraft that was shot down wrote to Williams, “Sorry dude, I don’t remember you being on my aircraft.” Sgt. 1st class Joseph Miller, the flight engineer of the plane Williams was on, made a post thanking Reynolds for calling out William’s lie. William’s has since then admitted that he was not on the aircraft that was shot down and wrote on his Facebook page, “No one is trying to steal anyone’s valor.”
According to Ralph B. Potter’s method for thinking through ethical dilemmas we must first consider “the situation”, “values”, “principles” and “loyalties.” The situation consists of an anchorman deliberately lying about an event that took place in Iraq. The value of this falsified story is great because NBC invest in a yearly contract with the anchorman worth millions each year and the credibility of their entire network and process of verifying pertinent news stories is now at stake. The Journalist Code of Ethics has principle that reads, “ Journalist