Ethical Issues In Media Coverage In Ferguson

Ethics in Media There has recently been a lot of media coverage in Ferguson, MO where Officer Darren Wilson, white, was cleared of rights violation in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man, Michael Brown. After the verdict was read, riots broke out on the streets of Ferguson and continued for several days. It quickly turned into a racial event pitting blacks against whites. The media felt it was ethically okay to cover the racial aspect rather than the verdict. “Cameras do change the dynamic. They magnify, they amplify, they can certainly distort” (Senso, 2014). Several Ferguson residents were interviewed during the riots helping to fuel the race angle. One black man explained he was in support of the riots and claimed violence was …show more content…
How would he be seen by others? He should have asked for the protesters opinion on what was going on in the city. He should have asked about the verdict because after all that is why all of this started. He was not being fair to the man and he was selling himself short as he encouraged the man to talk about the racial divide. Television media showed destruction, bricks being thrown, cars set on fire, and chanting from protestors “black lives matter.” Fox news contributor Cal Thomas called the media out for their coverage. “There’s a lynch mob forming and it’s decided Darren Wilson, the police officer, is guilty of murdering Michael Brown and the media are playing this as if the mob has a legitimate grievance” (Thomas, 2014). There are many interviews given by the protestors that the media publicized, sharing their grievances. This not only boosted the ratings, but encouraged the …show more content…
Was Darren Wilson justified in shooting Brown? The coverage of the riots and interviews with protesters and public figures such as Giuliani never even addressed that question. Referring back to SPJ’s code of ethics, the second principle states “Balance a suspect’s rights to a fair trial with the public’s right to know. Consider the implications of identifying criminal suspects before they face legal charges” (SPJ, 2015). If the media would have acted in an ethical manner and tried to reduce harm they would have spoken about the case details and not race. Stereotypes and opinions became the so called facts that the media covered. There was little to no digging to reveal the truth about anything. Without having relevant or truthful information the media has nothing but that did not stop them. “The mainstream media helped instigate, intensify, and perpetuate the criminal turmoil that occurred in that beleaguered town” (Goetsch,

Related Documents