Media Ethics Potter Box Essay

Words: 1206
Pages: 5

Case Study 1
Part 1
Analyse the issue using the Potter Box. Use the quadrants of the Potter Box to make your own judgment of the New York Times' decision to delay publication for a year, and omit certain information. Was it ethically justifiable?

1.Definition or situation. 4. Loyalties.
2. Values. 3. Ethical principal.

Facing objection for the White House, The New York Times went ahead and published an article about President Bush permitting the N.S.A to spy on Americans without court warrants, but it was delayed for a year to research for additional reporting and certain information were excluded. The Potter Box is used to analyse the problem regarding this situation.

The Potter Box introduces four dimensions of moral
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On the other hand, President Bush and his administration used Mill's Principle of Utility, which means to "seek the greatest happiness for the greatest number" (Ethical foundation and perspectives, 2005. p.16) as a guideline for their action. John Stuart Mill's principle focuses on benefiting the biggest number of people with the goods and services offered, but not considering about the method used and consequences caused, as long as the outcome benefits the majority. This applies to Bush's decision for the N.S.A to spy on the people inside America without court warrants and invading a person's right to privacy. The main reason to eavesdrop is to curb terrorist attacks and to protect American citizens from harm.

The last quadrant in Potter Box is loyalties. Loyalties concern who the decision-maker has duties or loyalties to. For example, in journalism, the first duty is always to the public. Other duties a journalist might have would be to their employer, industry organizations, coworkers and society (Ethical foundation and perspectives, 2005. p.22). For this case, the New York Times have duties firstly to its readers, which is to inform them about the truth. Next is duty to society because as a credible political magazine, New York Times carries a social responsibility towards the society. Lastly is duty to organization and firm. The journalists working on this article carefully published and omitted certain facts to prevent