According to okuna in 1995, Ethical problems arises in the journalist’s manner and method of doing his or her duties. He went further to disclose that these newspaper agency can ruin lives and also make celebrities. Below I would be sharing with you some of the ways they can be affecting lives negatively.
Confidentiality of sources
Invasion of of privacy
SYCOPHANCY – This is a situation whereby a medium continuously praises a particular person despite the person’s ills or incompetence. This is common where such media are owned by individuals who derive some particular form of favour from such individual or government agency. We can derive example from the Abucha Era. It was a common phenomenon to read on newspapers of his achievements whereas he never did anything on ground.
Sycophancy in journalism is unethical as it deprive the society of genuine reports. Their motive is to win favour.
CHARACTER ASSASSINATION – This is the act of portraying someone in a false light either by calling him or her names which do not suit his pedigree or by names to ridicule him. Sometimes the accused can sue for mane damages but at the long run, the damage has been done. This kind of ethical mess is found during election campaign.
PRESSURE – It should be noted that journalist performing their duties do face pressure from both outside and inside his profession. Within his work place, his boss might force him to do some certain things that are unethical to his profession. Outside, his close friends and relatives can force him to do some other stuff outside his profession.
CONFIDENTIALITY OF SOURCE – According to the rules and code guiding the journalist profession, a journalist is not suppose to reveal a the source of his information to anyone except it concerns national security. But sometimes our journalist go way out of line to disclose the sourced of their information.
INVASION OF PRIVACY – Though the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria has protection of individual code. But journalist still engage in the invasion of individual privacy even when information are not in the interest of the entire public. This is what is stipulated in the NUI code of journalism practice. ” Journalists should respect the privacy of individuals and their families at all cost unless it affects public interest”.
Even most programes on our TVs, Radios, newspapers feature invasion of privacy. What a shame.
INACCURACY – This is the haphazard report of news and stories which has the tendency of misleading the public. Well this has the tendency of reducing readership and credibility of the medium. Such issues and problems arises from the fact that most journalist do not verify their reports or information available to them before publishing it.
LACK OF FAIRNESS – This is a problem in journalism practice where the news is one sided. I e not balanced in commendation to opinion about individuals or issues. Most journalists get carried away by their emotions which is very unethical in the practice of journalism.
MECHANISM FOR MAINTENANCE ETHICAL STANDARDS IN MASS COMMUNICATIONS.
To be unethical in journalism is to be abusive to the profession powers of the mass medis as the most potent tool of dissemination of ideas and information in the modern world.
As gatekeepers in the process of mass communication, journalist have a lot of control over information and information sources,
A concern for good conduct among journalist is one way of regulating their behaviour and guarding against the abuse of the power of mass communication and creating responsible journalist.
Various mechanism have been designed by both the press itself and other bodies for ensuring ethical behaviour among journalist. They are!
SELF REGULATORY MECHANISM – These are various sets of self rules which journalist have compiled themselves to guide them in the performance of their duties, it is enforced by them. The following are the self regulatory measures that have been adopted by the press itself to encourage responsible behaviour.
A. Codes of professional ethics in mass communication.
These are rules or principles composed to guide their activities and also encourage ethical behaviour . These codes have objectives and also encourage ethical behaviour. These codes have objectives. Other self regulatory codes are
Code of journalistic ethics for journalist.
Nigerian institute of public Relations codes of ethics and others for in the field. 2. OMBUDSPERSON – These are individuals within a media organization assigned the duty of hearing complaints about the media performance in areas of branches of professional ethics by the medium in terms of accuracy, fairness to source and its audience. Some countries with this mechanism are Denmark, Sweden etc.
3. THE NIGERIAN PRESS COUNCIL.
The Nigeria press council is a regulatory body for journalists and as such receive complaints from audience. The press concil was first established in decree of 1978. This council could could not function because the Nigerian press orgainzation and the Nigerian journalist rejected its composition, which gave the government the right to appoint majority of the member of the council. They saw the possibility of the government deciding how the media should operate which could mean doom in a military or dictatorial government. The council was to be made of fifteen members of which eight were to be appointed by the government. This was why the media was put on hold for 10 years.
BETTER EDUCATION FOR. JOURNALIST.
For me, this will enhance responsibility profession. A review of studies done for both developed and undeveloped countries countries shows that journalist