Freedom Of Speech Vs. Truth Telling

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1 – Introduction A- Identification of Ethical Problem The ethical dilemma is freedom of speech vs. truth-telling. Freedom of speech and expression is important in the media because it strongly ensures that there is democracy. Freedom of speech gives any media practitioner the right to freely express what he or she thinks about a certain topic or a certain person. In expression of one’s opinion, he or she does not find the urge to protect the reputation of the company or person or product they are talking about. While any media practitioner is expressing his views and opinions, he or she may be violating the reputation of the subject they are talking about. Therefore, as a media practitioner is expression his opinion about a person or a product…show more content…
Along with freedom of speech comes increased criticism and false truths. Issues are raised about relevance of opinion if its insulting the subjects. Opposing claims are done about the significance of freedom of speech and the value of truth-telling. According to Hadley (1989), journalists must preserve the liberties associated with freedom of the press, considering all viewpoints even those critical of one’s own (p. 249-264). He also states that even though journalists can express their viewpoints freely, they should prevent offensiveness and rudeness and they should never make any decision that would affect their truthfulness. Freedom of expression is essential in the media because it is a strong indication that there is democracy but it should not pass the extent of rudeness. According to Haridakis (1999), there is a difference between freely expression your opinion and unethical commentator behavior such as delivering information with knowledge, escorted by opinion without explanation and soothsaying without heed of consequences (p. 230). Journalists’ role in the media is to educate the public with facts and leave them to make a decision based on these facts without ruining the reputation of the subjects included. There should be a better understand of the appropriate balance between the right to freedom of expression and the need to protect reputations (Boyle, 2000). When a journalist is facing any ethical dilemma, he or she should go with truth-telling. Truth telling indicates that information is reported accurately, objectively and unbiased. According to Cohen-Almagor (2008), the different dimensions of objective reporting that are associated with the concept of objectivity are accuracy, truthfulness, fairness and moral neutrality (p. 136 – 155). Journalists should be concerned
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