Ethical Responsibilities of the Media Essay

1527 Words Dec 29th, 2005 7 Pages
The role of the media is to formally update the people about what is happening in the world around them. This means that it should give the audience an objective view of what is occurring without violating any human rights or offending viewers. Since there are no certain limitations put on broadcasting violent material, some Arab media channels like Al-Jazeera started excelling in giving the viewer a complete picture about what is occurring in warring nations. From broadcasting the casualties on the battlefield to airing hostage torture videos, Al-Jazeera and other news channels are airing more graphic footage, and this has many negative effects on the viewing public. Terrorists make use of this extra publicity that these networks give …show more content…
A propaganda war occurs when the media uses their material to make viewers distinguish between the good side and the wrong or violent one in any conflict. According to Anup Shah, a writer in the Mainstream Media website, any conflict is fought on two grounds: the battlefield and the minds of the people via propaganda (Shah). This is true when we look at the elements that different news agencies use to transmit the information to the viewers. The main two elements are the usage of selective stories and partial facts from an objective news report. For instance, CBS used the hostage footage of Daniel Pearl who was filmed while being tortured then murdered by Islamic terrorists in order to present the Islamic society as the enemies of the Western world, and even worse, CBS anchor Dan Rather said, "CBS News brought you this report because… the video illustrates how far an enemy will go to spread its message of hate for the United States." Then we have Al-Jazeera operating on the other side of this propaganda war by using the same elements in order to present the Western society as the enemies of the Muslim world. The excessive images of Iraqi women being raped, and wounded Iraqi soldiers getting shot by United States Marines on Arab satellite channels like Al-Jazeera, is certainly helping to demonize the enemy, which is a strong weapon in this propaganda war (Bill). These violent videos tend to strengthen each opposing side's opinion of the other, and as a

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