RR9

“Freedom of the press” doesn’t allow journalists to be able to do whatever they want and go wherever they please. Freedom of the Press simply means that journalists have the right to publish the truth, but that doesn’t mean anything can be published without ramification. The Bill of Rights, however, does state that the press has the right to publish and the government can’t stand in the way.

Several laws are in place, like the Communications Decency Act of 1996 and the Sunshine Act, to ensure ethical, moral, and decent publications. Privacy, slander, and libel are all issues that fall under decency laws as well.

Filak makes the statement: “jus because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” I think that one sentence sums up ethics within journalism. There are some situations that just aren’t okay. Besides, publishing something unethically may lead to loss of audience, and the point of journalism in the first place (which is to inform the public) is lost to begin with. On the other hand, this doesn’t mean that journalists shouldn’t tell the truth. Honesty and objectivity are key in journalism.

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