Monday, October 27, 2008
Overt Ignorance of Journalistic Ethics
This is a broadcast on Fox News in August, but I thought it's still important to mention because it is an example of extreme media bias. Normally when we speak about media bias, we would think of articles or broadcasts providing information in favor of or against a targeted individual, group or issue. But preventing someone from voicing their opinions in front of the audience during a broadcast is just too much!
On August 20th, Fox News had an interview with Amanda Kokoeva and her aunt Laura Tedeeva-Korewiski. Coming from San Francisco, Amanda was in South Ossetia at the time of the attack on August 7th. According to Amanda, the Georgian army was bombing the place and the Russian troop in fact helped her uncle and her to get to Moscow safely.
Whether the information provided is true or not, Fox News did a good job of covering the truth by stopping the witnesses from talking when she started to accuse Georgia at fault. He didn't even let her finish the sentence where she wanted to say thank you to the Russian troop. The reason the MC gave was "We need a commercial break."
We all know that US media have been supporting Georgia in this conflict since the war started in August 2008. Journalists and editors have the right to have their stands in the issue, but they should keep their opinions separate from their work. Their role is to provide the public with neutral information, and it's up to the audience what to believe in. By selecting to publicize only news that support their opinions and suppressing information that is against their perceived views, they are providing only one side of the story to the audience.
In this case, where the journalist and the news outlet itself deliberately stopped the witnesses from speaking and providing their opinions, it is just way across the line of what a journalist is not supposed to do. It is sad how contemporary journalism is negatively moving towards this direction. I'm not saying all journalists and media outlets are biased, but this example just show how some journalists and news stations are not ashamed of violating their own ethic codes.