Media Ethics Research

Introduction

In the contemporary world, the media has taken a different approach in its role. Journalists ought to have an authoritative role in giving accurate information. However, the public influence, the desire to attract public attention, and the need to earn massive profits have corrupted the journalists’ roles. This research proposal gives a clear outlay of the procedures that the researcher will employ to come up with decisive conclusions about media ethics. The researcher intends to employ a quantitative research design, where, questionnaires and interviews will be the main data collection instruments. Further, the researcher will use the statistical package for social sciences software to analyze the collected data.

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Background information

The media ought to be a channel of communication to the citizens of a given nation. However, media outlets are increasing in number, and each media station competes for attention from the citizens. Nowadays, journalists are emphasizing on the quantity rather than the quality of information that they pass to the audience (Szpunar, 2012). In early days, citizens would receive accurate news, but in the contemporary world, every news bulletin stifles the audiences. Media sensitization is the order of the day as the media raises the excitement of the viewers. Essentially, the media aims at capturing the attention of many citizens to increase the viewership and ratings, which translates into millions of profits. In the recent past, most journalists have ignored the media ethics that they ought to employ while passing information to society, and the whole issue has degraded the society values.

Statement of the problem

Media sensationalism has reduced the interest of readers and viewers who doubt whether the information they receive is accurate or not. While journalists think that they are passing sensitive information to capture the interest of the citizens, they are depicting the dark side of their career. In the future, people will limit their viewing times or the time they spend on reading distorted materials. This is an enormous problem, and if something is not done, it will not be easy to convey serious information to the people who are used to taking things lightly.

Hypothesis

Null hypothesis: Media outlets do not give sensational information because of the influence of some influential people, and neither do they do it to capture the attention of the public and earn massive profits.

Alternative hypothesis: Media outlets give sensational information because of the influence of some influential people, and they do it specifically to capture the attention of the public and earn massive profits.

Objectives

This research will seek information from the public and journalists. The four main objectives of the study are as follows.

  1. To obtain information from the journalists of the reasons behind their approaches in portraying sensational information;
  2. To take a stringent analysis of media broadcasts in the contemporary world and compare the broadcasts with those of ancient days;
  3. To determine the levels of accuracy and reliability, and ethical considerations in the current media presentations;
  4. To obtain information from the public on how they perceive the news bulletins in the contemporary world.

Research questions

To be able to achieve the set objectives, the following research questions will be essential.

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  1. How does the public perceive media broadcasts in the contemporary world?
  2. What is the reason behind the presentation of broadcasts in a sensational manner?
  3. Do journalists have some ethical considerations in presenting their information?
  4. Is the information that journalists present accurate and reliable?
  5. What is the difference between ancient broadcasts and current broadcasts in terms of reliability, accuracy, and ethical considerations?

Justification of the research problem

The values in society are decaying, and the blame goes to the media. Children of tender ages are gradually becoming wicked, and the public is slowly losing the trust that it had on the media broadcasts. The theatrical dramas of celebrities and the aggravating political news across the world are doing more harm than good to the entire society.

Literature review

Ethics is a very important aspect in the journalism field. Therefore, curriculum developers ensure that ethic education is in the study syllabus of journalism students. Essentially, ethics is a craft and a skill that journalists ought to employ in their entire career. However, heightened technologies and modern lifestyles are challenging the journalism role. In the technological world, media companies are finding it easy to enter into the media and communication industry. With the rise in the number of media outlets, competition increases, and the media outlets ignore the standards of broadcasting their message to the public.

It is recommendable that the media outlets are trying their best to accommodate the audience in their broadcasts. However, the whole issue has weakened the media’s voice of authority, and instead, the media is becoming unaggressive and passive. Influential people have the upper hand in giving decisions, which brings some biasness in the broadcasted information. The outcome of such practices is inaccurate and sensational information, which is not trustworthy (Nyilasy & Reid, 2011). The media personnel has given the audience much power that forfeits the ethics that ought to be depicted in every broadcast. Brown (2011) asserts that the media will only survive if its personnel insist on giving accurate information that is not distorted by the perceptions of some influential characters.

Research methodology

Research design

The research will employ a quantitative research design. The researcher will analyze the relationship between the dependent variable, media sensationalism, and the three independent variables:

  1. Public influence,
  2. Desire to attract public attention, and
  3. Need to earn massive profits.

The need for quantitative data will oblige the researcher to collect first-hand information that would help in developing a decisive conclusion.

Sampling procedures

The researcher will employ a random sampling technique to select random respondents from the public in the area of study. Moreover, there will be a random selection of media outlets, where, at least five respondents from each media outlets will take part in the study.

The instrument of data collection

Questionnaires and interviews will be the main data collection instruments. The researcher will prepare a set of questions that will seek to obtain information on how the public perceives the news bulletins in the contemporary world. The questionnaires will seek information regarding the reliability, accuracy, and ethical considerations of the current broadcasts.

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Data collection procedures

The researcher will seek permission from the ministry of communication before setting out to collect the data. The public respondents will be engaged in an interrogative interview, whereas, the journalists taking part in the study will have to fill the questionnaires.

Data processing and analysis

The quantitative research will employ a descriptive statistics approach to make a scrutiny of the numeric data of the duly filled questionnaires. The statistical package for social sciences software will be used to give a clear outlay of the correlations and relationships of the dependent and independent variables.

References

Brown, F. (Ed.). (2011). Journalism ethics: A casebook of professional conduct for news media paperback. (4th ed.). Portland, OR: Marion Street Press.

Nyilasy, G., & Reid, L. N. (2011). Advertiser pressure and the personal ethical norms of newspaper editors and ad directors. Journal of Advertising Research, 51(3), 538-551.

Szpunar, P. M. (2012). Journalism ethics and Levinas’ Third: Interruption in a world of multiple others. Social Semiotics, 22(3), 275-294.

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