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- Media Ethics
- In advance, review the case study and background.
- Pass out copies of the case study and have students discuss it in small groups. Tell the groups they should attempt to come to a consensus about which of the multiple choice options they think is the best. They may also come up with another position.
- Ask the groups to share out their choice and reasoning. Use the questions below to guide the discussion.
- Case study handout (download), one per student
- What are arguments for and against using the entire video on television and/or posting it online?
- Is there an issue of greater public good – revealing the horror that this group is inflicting in the areas where it has taken control? Does that outweigh concerns that it might offend viewers’ sensibilities?
- Could airing or not airing the video affect the ongoing effort to combat this group?
- When is something “in bad taste” or offensive? How does this affect its newsworthiness?
- Is it possible for news footage to be too graphic? Too personal? Too intense?
- How might viewers react to the video? How is the experience different for viewers of the televised broadcast versus those viewing the story and video online?
- Does the video inflict additional/unnecessary harm and pain on the hostage’s family and other victims’ families? Does that justify not running it?