If the scientists intentions were for pure scientific research but the eventual result would lead to nuclear catastrophe, since it was not the intention of the scientist for the outbreak of nuclear weapons proliferation, the scientist does not have any ethical responsibility towards acquiring knowledge. Counter points to the idea above creates continuous debate and disagreement, which leads to the ambiguity in not only the definition of a scientist but also the ethical responsibility of a scientist who acquires new knowledge.
Artists and media creators are people that look at the world and acquire knowledge from it. With the prevailing pretense of ethical responsibility and acquisition of knowledge, the arts have a similar problem. Some say that an artist is someone who has the ability to freely express their knowledge derived from observing and experiencing a world issue. Therefore, some people are saying that creators of media do not have any moral obligation tied in the creation of their material. For example, KONY 2012 is a primary example.
Although the main purpose of this campaign was to raise awareness of this issue, some people are questioning to what extent Invisible Children had the ethical responsibility to raise awareness about a man who has done no harm since 2003. Although the KONY 2012 campaign did have some truth in it, many are saying that the unethical part about this is the emotional aurora emitted from the campaign itself. Because this campaign went against the Ethics of Journalism, many are saying that Invisible Children did not have any moral obligation with this issue and did it for the sole purpose of profit increase.
Another issue that shows to what extent creators of media have a moral obligation to the creation of their material is the recent, private press conference by Republican Presidential Candidate, Mitt Romney. A journalist was able to infiltrate into this press conference and to capture a controversial statement made by Romney. When this footage of Romney was uploaded to the Internet, many people and his potential voters were upset about what he said. In terms of ethics, to what extent did this journalist have the moral obligation to expose Romney?
Some say that and as the rules of Media ethics concerning public officials state that as a journalist, he or she had the right to expose the truth, as truth telling is crucial in media ethics since public officials do not want to be seen as trying to deceiving. On the other hand, some agree because as an advocacy group for rights for children, Invisible Children had all the moral obligation needed to expand on this topic, whether it was for profit or not.
So, by labeling Invisible Children unethical, to some, is not agreeable since they abided by what their job dictated and followed by the Ethics of Journalism. Also, the Romney controversy seems to be having the same issue with the undisputed argument about whether or not the journalist had a moral obligation to film the footage of Romney. Although some may state that it was the job of the journalist to capture the moment of truth since he was taught to do so but others argue that who is the journalist to decide whether or not this moment should be captured.
Many are saying that this journalist did not have any moral obligation with the matter and it was actually quite unethical for the journalist to expose Romney as such because he or she is not part of Romney’s political campaign and was there as an undercover journalist. Many are concerned how media ethics are so emphasized nowadays but the unethical act of undercover journalist still exist. However, because of these disputes and constant disagreement on the role of ethics and media, ambiguity continues to grow in this area of study.
In conclusion, the question of whether or not scientist or creators of media have some sort of ethical responsibility towards knowledge is still an unanswered question. The constant disagreement on the role of science and ethics, and media and ethics continue to fuel these disputes between members of each side of the argument. This essay depicts to what extent creators of media have a moral obligation towards their material and if scientists have an ethical responsibility when they acquire knowledge.
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