Ethics Research and Analysis Paper

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Ethics Research and Analysis Paper

Jessica Blunt


December 17, 2018

Ms. Dawn Cloutier

Ethics Research and Analysis Paper

Reporting on the dangerous journeys that refugees and migrants undertake, as well as on their ambitions and sometimes catastrophes, not only involving many responsibilities, but also raises important ethical questions. It is very important to provide coverage at its best version as it could be, enhancing coherence, sufferance and contextualizing news stories. One of the most important things to stress when reporting is that we need to report facts and not bias. What I have noticed is that, in the effort to be unbiased and provide a balance of opinions, some public service broadcasters ended up giving space to very dividing views.

Additionally, the voices of the refugees have been missing from news coverage. There are many people that have been speaking about refugees on their behalf and many news anchors have focused more on what politicians said about than on what migrants and refugees had to say. The true hazards of relying on these kind of narratives is that there are not enough voices from the main characters involved in the stories being told. In addition, some of the best journalism is often slow journalism, when journalists avoid rushing and take time to make sure they are accurate, using the right language and reporting what people are saying correctly.

`One of the biggest challenges is the lack of knowledge about the legal features of migration, for example about the difference between migrant and refugee, or about of their legal rights. This is fundamental in order to avoid giving the wrong impression to the public. It is just as important to explain who the victims are in every story. Moreover, journalists should ask themselves if they are aware of the settings they could fall into. Most journalism can be very powerful and guide democratic governments to adjust their policies. Regrettably, our mass media seem to be currently distracted from the many issues we have in our society.

The greatest challenge is to keep the attention of the public and to deliver the story in a number of ways. We must ensure we are not dehumanizing refugees and migrants, while understanding the worries and needs of communities in terms of resources and tools needed to take care of themselves. Apart from reporting on their journeys, it is just as equally important to cover integration and give voice to the communities. Furthermore, media should be aware of the storyline used by politicians and should avoid being led by the political narratives. Media cannot be producers of false information and hate speech. At the same time, journalists should demonstrate on frames they are using, being aware of what storylines they might subconsciously descend into. Journalism must improve on following its set of core values, especially now modern day society where journalism has to differentiate itself from simple opinions seen online. There is an increasing need to go back to the basics.

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