In the movie Absence of Malice, Megan Carter to prove Michael Gallagher couldn't have killed union official Joey Diaz because Gallagher with his friend Teresa Peron out of town for an abortion on that weekend. She talks to Teresa about the abortion. Teresa didn't specifically ask her not to write the story, although she asked her to leave the specific details out of it. Teresa Peron a devout Catholic, whom he accompanied to arrange her secret abortion at Atlanta, something her parents or the community would disapprove. Peron doesn't want Carter to reveal this publicly, but she did it. The news leads to the tragic end of Teresa. In this case reflect of journalistic ethical issues is related to privacy, anonymous sources and leaked information.
Privacy is a specific personality right, everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life. First, as a journalist should pay attention to distinguish the boundaries between the "public" and "private". To pay attention to the legal principle of voluntary, without their permission, can’t free to publish information identifiable by others, to avoid a violation of the privacy of others.
Secondly, should have the human care and work ethics in news reporting, in news reports, pay attention to the protection of report the object from harm. In this case, Carter reported that Michael with Teresa went to the hospital abortion; this was a big mistake because Carter defied the basic rules of journalism work ethics, and unknowingly caused Teresa to commit suicide. not only report the names of the parties，also specific the event description. This is undoubtedly a violation of the privacy of victims, also causes immense harm to the victim, Although Teresa didn't specifically ask her not to write the story, but as a journalist you must understanding work ethics, she know Teresa is a devout Catholic, the Catholic Church opposes and condemns any and all direct abortions. But she also report Teresa abortion, as a professional journalists being dedicated to reporting truth. Though, when we print news should clear what private information can public, in this case this is a personal life has nothing to do with the public interest. Actually, Carter can report the story without Teresa’s name or just went to the hospital, Also as journalism when you reports related to personal privacy information, must be obtain the written authorization or consent of the parties.
Thirdly, Journalists should improve their professional moral standards. In interview report to avoid the minefield of the privacy of others, properly handle the public "right to know" and the "privacy" conflict with others. The news report is to provide the public with information, is also an important way to meet the public's right to know. In matters of public interest, privacy give way to the right to know, in the news reports needs special attention not to infringe the privacy of others. While it’s not illegal, was ethically questionable. In some instances, ‘‘this may mean a news organization chooses not to deliver information that is legally protected but perhaps not ethically justifiable’’ (Mark Christopher Roberts)
As a journalist should differentiate between publicly important information and information, for the witness it is not allowed to publish the names of witness details that could result in the disclosure of their identities, unless agree by the themselves. I think when we reveal toward all those concerned identity, name