Media ethical issues raised in film, Broadcast News

Broadcast News focuses on the media ethical issues of credibility, experience and education, relationship in the work place, and layoffs. The film really delves into issues pertaining to the work place and what is morally right and wrong in the Broadcast Journalism industry.

Workplace Relationships

During one scene in the movie, people are specifically being asked what they would do when they are faced with a media ethical decision. They are asked: “Would you tell a source that you love them just to get information out of them?” The entire group laughs and says yes, like there is no doubt about it.

This issue not only pertains to sources but work relationships in the newsroom as well. The executive producer, Jane Craig, of the station creates a relationship with the anchor, Tom Grunick. Tom started to flirt with another employee in the newsroom, Jennifer. Jane gets jealous and sends her to Alaska when asked who should be sent on a specific news story.

Although funny for the movie, this can be considered controversial in a real-life work place. Jennifer might not of been qualified enough to go on the assignment and Jane just nominated her right away because she wanted her to be away from Tom.

Education and Experience

This goes along with the next issue brought up in the movie about education and experience. Aaron continually points out how Tom is not qualified for the job, he just has good looks. Tom even points this out himself when he is younger and to Jane who hires him anyway. In the beginning of the movie, Tom talks to his dad and says, “What can you with yourself if all you have is good looks?” He also tells Jane he has no experience or education and can’t write.

During Tom’s first anchoring gig, he needs to be fed information through his earpiece. Aaron continually tries to bring up the fact that he doesn’t know enough for the job. Aaron also quizzes Tom and asks him if even knows all of the cabinet members.

Credibility, Staging

The next issue brought up in the movie and in real-life work places is credibility and staging the news. At the very beginning of the movie when Jane and Aaron are in Nicaragua, she tells the camera man not to tell the people what to do and that they can do whatever they want. They are not here to stage things.

Tom does the opposite of this when he adds in his tears during the date rape interview, which were staged. This was what people really liked about Tom and his interview which really questions his credibility.

This movie can be very relatable to real life, as many of these issues are prevalent in the media industry.

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