Marketing And The Media Matthew Courtney May 2000 Media Ethics and Their Relation to Business In this world, there is an obvious connection between the media and its involvement in business ethics. No matter what the form of media looked at, they all have the ability of being either an aid to business’s success or a detriment. The press and the media are responsible for reporting news, issues and events as clearly as possible. Any distortions can cause the message being sent to be misinterpreted or completely wrong. News organizations are given a responsibility of representing the public interest. In order to gain the public’s trust, such broadcasters are required to work within the parameters of ethical and responsible new casting.
No matter what the issue, company or news being reported on, every media organization works off of a Code of Ethics. This is a sort of safeguard to the honesty of the organization. It demands truth telling, privacy of individuals being documented, and avoids the many conflicts that could possibly arise as a result of misinforming the public. Stylebooks are also used in order to form a generalized style of writing to allow for easy read through, from one writer to the next. There are many different kinds of businesses in this world.
The successes of these businesses are primarily as a result of their reputation. The media winds up being a medium that forms many of the reputations. The way a news broadcast, print, radio and even Internet presents a company has a great effect on the resulting emotion or feeling one associates with a business or company. This is why the media ethics are so important to the introduction, growth, and development of a company. Large companies rely on their name in the media and are always ready to respond to any situation with a quick answer or rebuttal.
In addition to the reputation of a company being important, so is the reputation of the organization doing the broadcast. Names in the business world that are known to be accurate and reliable include CNN, CSPAN, local news stations such as CBS, NBC, ABC etc. Those who watch the business world closely are more inclined to go to reliable sources for their information. What is reported on these stations are considered as true based mainly on their past records. But when the occasion does arise, where the media goes about treating a business, or situation in an unethical manner many problems arise.
In order to understand this type of situation clearly, it is good to look at actual examples where the media ethics become involved in communicating or the miscommunication of a business. Many recent problems in the media world are being attributed to the advances in technology. Although these advances are great and making life easier, things are being done so quickly that many important steps are being forgotten. In the rush to present a story first, many journalists are forgetting to be accurate and balanced in their covered stories. The pressures of live broadcast are requiring journalists to focus on a new set of questions in order to check and be sure the position and format in which they present their story is clear of any unethical issues.
A committee known as SPJ is focused on the ethics of journalism in all forms of media and claims “The SPJ Code of Ethics encourages journalists to minimize harm by recognizing that our coverage can hurt, cause discomfort or be insensitive. During an event we must remember to ‘show good task. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.” Being aware is the most important thing. As long as the media is aware of the impact they will have on their audience, they will be better able to communicate the core of what is at hand. In the business world there is so much competition, that failure is a common thing.
In order to be secure in the business world ethics becomes unavoidable. The press and media are attracted to ethical issues on both sides of the matters. A business that is ethical will be regarded and presented almost always in an ethical manner. These are the ones who succeed and are able to make a reputation that will give them confidence to make it in the real world. Those who are unethical will eventually be deemed with that quality.
It is a negative quality that can destroy a company. This is where the media tends to play such a crucial part of the situation. The role of the media and the press is to communicate to the public a number of aspects of a company or business. The media must portray a company in a certain way in order to gain the initial attention of the public. This may be originally done through advertising.
Yet, the already established companies are the ones who are relying on the press to update the city, town or nation on their current situations in the business world. Every medium the media has, whether it be news, radio etc. is given the opportunity through words to present a business in either a positive or negative view, serious or joking manner, respectable or untrustworthy company etc. With so many options at hand, business wind up putting a lot of trust in these organizations. Of course, some will be able to carry out such a responsibility better, and this is where the positioning of one’s business becomes important. CNN isn’t going to look at the local neighborhood bakery; instead they are going to focus both their time and energy on the large banks, investing companies, real estate firms etc.
The business magazines are going to look at the biggest names in the field because that is what they are responsible for looking at. Crane’s will look at only the top real estate and property management companies because they have given themselves a reputation for only focusing on the best. Positioning plays a major role on both the media end and the business end. Newspapers and news broadcasts are to hold the responsibility of reporting accurately at a very high standard. If there wrong information regarding a business is reported, there are many effects and outcomes that can be triggered. From the business world’s perspective everyone is well aware of the role of ethics.
In every decision made, businesses are required to look at the situation and make in all cases an ethical decision. It is interesting to look at the role of ethics in businesses compared to the role of ethics in life. For one reason or another, business ethics seem to be held in higher regard. This may be plain and simply because money is involved and everyone is out to succeed. When you see business ethics in that light is clear how important the media is in creating clear communication lines of all business ethics- to the best of their abilities.
TRIBUNE Many times in the mission statement of a media organization, you can tell how highly they hold ethics as a part of their company and their reporting. Of course every mission statement will vary, but one underlying element is whether or not the ethics are valued. More or less, ethics can be the backbone to most statements and if followed, it will result in an ethical company. One such company that has a mission statement based on ethics is the Tribune. The Tribune’s mission statement is ‘to build businesses that inform, educate and entertain our customers in the ways, places and at the times they want.’ As a Fortune 500 company, Tribune is a major media company operating in the fields of publishing, radio and television broadcasting, interactive and education. Tribune has extremely high yearly revenues and ranked No.1 among Fortune’s most admired companies in America. In the television department, Tribune owns and operates 22 stations that reach over 75% of America’s households.
With such a large dominance over this market it is clear the important and clear decisions Tribune is committed to making. Other areas of involvement are The Chicago Tribune, The Orlando Sentinel along with Internet investments in AOL, The WB Television Network etc. This company prides itself on ‘strategies and values’ causing this medium to have a positive impact wherever Tribune is involved. The ethics they pride themselves on are reiterated in what they pass on to the consumer. The Tribune within itself has many different businesses. In order to live up to their own standards they follow a set of values in order to gain the important trust from their customers. They focus on content- they want everything they offer to have content and substance.
They build communities through all sorts of mediums in order to satisfy every single customer. They do not focus on only one kind of individual or group. Technology is always used in creating new ideas and improving old ones. At the core of the Tribune Company is simply the idea of the media. In order to make this Company a success and gain respect, they needed to deal with all issues in an ethical manner, those issues pertaining to their company along with other companies.
They receive respect of other companies by showing respect to them in the first place. The Tribune Company deals and portrays issues in businesses in an ethical manner in order to educate others and set somewhat of a standard for there readers and viewers. In order to do this they must be able to show their position, of being hard-working, well-intentioned and only there to do the right thing and only advocate others who pride themselves on doing the right thing for the general public. As a company they are committed to accurate, fair and responsible reporting TIME Time magazine is a well read and respected form of media. It is known to be a trusted source of information and generally regarded highly by those of intelligence.
Those they present, both businesses and individuals, they are said to considered to represent in an ethical manner to the best of their knowledge. This can be scene through their clear lines of communication with the readers. All ethical business issues are carefully looked out before anything is possibly exploited to the reader that may incorrect or exaggerated. Back a couple of years in 1995, a situation arose where the well-respected Time Magazine published a story regarding pornography on the Internet. This story was not aimed at informing the public of a new finding, but it was aimed at gaining the attention of readers to push sales.
This was its first unethically …