Friday, January 23, 2009
The entire movie “Absence of Malice” dealt with ethical conflicts. One of the most conflicting moments was when the story was first published; Megan was told she was not supposed to look for the truth at all. However, the media have an obligation to the truth if they are supposed to be the “gatekeepers” of society. Megan found a dramatic story and published it with reckless disregard for the truth. The sad thing is I feel that many journalists behave this way. At some point a journalist must separate him or herself from a story to be objective and able to write. However, that does not mean disregard for the truth or publishing something about someone they do not want in the paper. The most disturbing part is that Teresa died for it. Megan never seemed to look at how her stories would affect someone else or how serious the issues were she was writing about. After her editor told her about the death, she asked “want me to do a story about it”? Megan was always working as a reporter- no matter who she was talking to. She even took a hidden recorder with her, which I believe is unethical if the person she was recording did not know about it. Megan protected her sources more than she protected who she was writing about. I think Megan realized what she did was wrong- but that doesn’t mean she ever got it right.