.. action that wound up misinforming readings and possibly tarnishing a number of Internet providers even those possibly associated with the Time company. Fortunately, back then the Internet market was not nearly the size it is today which means fewer readers truly felt impacted by this story. On the other hand this article could have been responsible for forming many first impressions regarding the Internet and who exactly should and should not be using it as a source of information. The story was titled “CyberPorn” and proclaimed that online almost 85% of all sites were pornography.
In reality- porn sites amount to only 1% of the total postings on the web. Here Time magazine made a major mistake in misinforming the reader and blatantly publishing information that was not reliable. After all this being called to their attention the magazine claimed someone unrelated to their staff was responsible and that no expert had evaluated the article until after it had hit the newsstands and made a number of sales. This type of situation is very wrong in the world of media. The editor of Time admitted to being wrong and claimed the readers should have been given the respect of proper information. Here Time magazine did not take their responsibility properly and wound up committing unethical actions.
In addition to the upset by the readers for not being able to trust a well-known newsmagazine, Time put at risk any Internet providers that they may have had relations with any of the many companies Time is affiliated with. They gave a false report that could have severely hurt the Internet market if the article’s mistakes had been overlooked. Time as a form of media did not make a good decision in communicating the ethics of business and put a number of companies at risk due to the misleading information they presented to so many readers. They did not communicate clearly and resulted in obstructing their responsibility to their readers. Time Magazine was also involved in a misreporting on a featured story regarding the funding of the Kosovo Liberation Army. This mistake was picked up by an organization known as FAIR ..
or Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. Basically, the ethical issue at hand was that Time said that the KLA was receiving its donations from charities, fundraisers and other sources. They failed to overlook that these other sources were from drug proceeds. Time more or less sentimentalized the KLA and sugar coated its actions. Here again wrong information was given to its readers.
There lack of information and generalizations gave the reader a resulting bad impression of the story presented. The editors overlooked much of the necessary elements that would have made this a well-rounded, truthful report. Instances like these can and will eventually diminish the value of a report and its reporters, also causing a business represented to be diminished in value. In the media industry, especially with the medium of magazines there is more time to prepare. It is not live, breaking news material that is facing a deadline. This therefore makes the ability to deal with every ethical issue at hand with a little more concern and alertness.
There really is no excuse in misreporting things like facts because facts are not questionable- that is as long as the information is reliable. AOL America Online is a large name in the media industry especially after its recent merge with the Time Warner Company. With in American Online there are many divisions. Being a leading Internet company, there is a great deal of ethical responsibility placed on them. The Internet market is growing at a pace few are able to come up with. Not only has the internet become a number one source of information, purchasing, communication etc. it has become a highway where thoughts, emotions and especially political views can be expressed.
Having this responsibility on their shoulders, AOL must run their company justly. The gain a great deal of money from affiliates and investors that pride themselves on connecting their company with the AOL reputation. In order to be the success that they are, they have drawn up a number of policies that they go by. The main one I found to be of ethical importance is as follows: “Public policies should be market driven and industry led. Policies should be developed collaboratively, with input from industry leaders, government officials, and perhaps most importantly, consumers and other stakeholders. Public or private gatekeepers should not be allowed to prevent new entry, deny business opportunities or limit the free flow of information in the Internet.” AOL has been called one of the most popular companies in the Internet market.
Everything they are communicating over their Internet waves must be of value. AOL must communicate all ethical business matters in order to be regarded and trusted by other companies. Those businesses that refuse to look after their own self-interests will not be in business long enough to have any impact. At the same time, however, there can certainly be regard for a larger purpose. For some businesses, commitment to a larger purpose would be simply learning the difference between right and wrong, while others take a more responsible view of the role they play in the lives of their employees, their customers, and ultimately how they affect the world. AOL did just that and is a major success because of it. AOL shows its users the importance of a company with value and passes these ideals onto its users. It is careful to represent only that which has worth.
The media is the connection between businesses and the consumer. Through this connection there is always a careful eye taken by the media to focus on the various actions of companies and their corporate ethics. The media plays a major role in communicating these ethics because they wind up playing such an evident part in the consumer’s decision-making process. The concepts of right and wrong seem so simple on the surface. Webster’s defines morality as adherence to a standard of right human conduct. Superficially, that definition would be easy for the simple to understand.
When the focus is narrowed, however, it seems that the concept of morality grays in its boundaries. Unfortunately, wrong to some becomes acceptable by others. Morality is not only the black and white that the simple so seemingly effortlessly can see, with that clear line of separation between it and immorality. In the media world, it is necessary to view these black and white areas as simple as possible in order for the most generalized understanding to occur. The media becomes successful in connecting the ethics of business with the consumer mind when all is done in the correct context and with no distortions at all. For the media to act responsibly is for the media to act intelligently. Much of what is called “unethical conduct” is unintelligent conduct.
The media must fulfill their roll as contributing to the ethics of business and in a way representing everything in a truthful manner. A business places this trust in the media, while at the same time the media relies on the trust that whatever they are reporting is in reality carried out by the business. The press and the media must be reliable in the dealings with all businesses no matter what there status in the business world. All companies must be treated fairly and given the chance to prove their value to the customer. The media and the press have the ability to reach all kinds of people, of all ages, and all over the world. Having this much power it is clear that they have an impact unlike many others.
PBS In doing this research I came across one of FAIR’s reports on the Public Broadcasting Station. Everyone is aware that this form of television is exactly that- public. The mission of PBS is simply, “to provide a voice for groups in the community that may otherwise be unheard.” This station and form of media is based on value not money. It’s reputation has been built up to be only ‘noted’ by a limited audience. Much of the business world that PBS presents is readily available on CNN, CSPAN, and MSNBC etc.
This inattention by public television to a wide ranged audience, such as the views and experiences of working people is of concern due to the large growth of business programs and the increasing visibility of the corporate voice. PBS is commonly regarded as that of a teaching channel. This organization prides itself on the organizations and companies it presents to its audience no matter how limited it may be. PBS holds strong against privatizing and feeling confident on relying on sponsors to support their organization. This form of media probably can be noted as having among the best intentions. Educational motives, creates what may be the most honest and truthful form of communication.
That which PBS presents looks to give its viewers the clearest picture of what is being scene. Perhaps this programming which may not be regarded as highly as other stations- may deliver the best in communicating the ethics of business and what it means to be a part of the corporate world to its viewers. IN SUM Looking at the role the press and media plays in communicating the ethics of business makes you look at the wider spectrum of what exactly a organization is reporting and the manner in which they are presenting the material. Ethics is a big part of humanity and the only thing that at least attempts at keeping things honest. If the media and the press were not responsible for looking at various companies and reporting their findings to the consumer, then many companies would attempt at taking advantage of individuals. Companies receive the majority of their reputation, whether it be weak or strong, due to the media.
The media reinforces ethics. It is a constant reminder that the ethics in the corporate world are not to be forgotten. This is important for the sake of honest trade, consumer loyalty and the well being of all markets in the world. The individual organizations that make up the “media” hold this responsibility once there mission statement notes they have a loyalty to their reader, listener, viewer etc. Ethics and the media go hand in hand, the roles they play within each other are indispensable.
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