Media & Communication Department
Professional Ethics in Television News: The Ideal vs. the Reality
In my practicum paper, I used my experience as an intern at ABC News Now and the book The Media and Morality to examine how, because they are commercial businesses, television news programs and networks fail to provide the high quality news our democracy truly needs. My analysis included understanding rather than condemnation for those who produce television news, because my time at ABC News Now showed me that the constraints placed upon television news journalists and producers rarely make it possible for them to consider the moral implications of their work, even if they want to. I concluded this paper by suggesting that a government or public-funded television news station could perhaps serve our society better, as long as funding could be secured for such a station and government censorship could be avoided. I also indicated that the best hope for ameliorating the quality of television news is to strongly promote the media ethics of accuracy, comprehensiveness and intelligence through education for media scholars and professionals.