From the blaming of Princess Diana's death on news photographers to the public apology by CNN over its erroneous Vietnam-nerve-gas story, journalism and the American media in general are being placed under the microscope. The media-now more powerful than ever before due to computer advances, cable television, and the internet-controls our opinions, tastes, and, as some would have us believe, our actions. But has the media shed its ethics and become completely out of control? Has the quest to get the big scoop crippled the news media into believing 'first' is better than factual? To whom is the media responsible-the public, the stockholders, the advertisers? Who decides what may 'harm' an audience or what is unsuitable for children? Who, if anyone, should regulate the media? How do political agendas play into censorship (the FCC) and funding of the media? These questions and more are probed in "The Media and Morality", a wide-ranging selection of important essays that explores relationships between the media and its diverse audiences, its sponsors, stockholders, governments, and others.
The authors attempt to define the obligations of the media in these relationships as well as the risks, benefits, and limits.