Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

Ethics in Journalism: Abusing Risk

every piece of journalism carries a certain amount of risk, which is divided into hazard and outrage. Peter Sandman clearly and accurately describes and demonstrates the difference between hazard and outrage.

hazard is the actual and direct physical harm that a danger is capable of. outrage is the emotional response that news of the danger can cause. indeed, these are two elements that must be balanced in a news article. a journalistic piece must clearly describe the hazard using language and presentation appropriate for the hazard and the audience.

however, Mr. Sandman assumes that the public will always focus on outrage while ignoring the hazard. he also assumes apathy in the public about news. i posit the theory that people BECOME outraged and apathetic because the major news outlets are ALWAYS withholding facts and evidence. there is a serious trust issue here; how did this happen?

a long history of UNETHICAL and COWARDLY reporting by major news outlets.

people have nearly totally lost faith in ANY major news outlet to report meaningful or truthful news. so what factors and actions contributed to this crisis?

1) lack of reporting on real news - as Mr. Sandman stated, the major news outlets prefer high outrage and low hazard stories. they also 'forget' to investigate MOST government and corporate crimes. just compare any major news outlet to these:

2) ratings pandering through non-news - they EXTENSIVELY cover totally needless stories such as Tiger Woods' infidelity; all outrage, no hazard.

3) pundits - they ONLY talk about outrage, and never mention actual hazards and facts. they seek an emotional, rather than a rational response. rational people are sickened by the vitriol and lack of news. those that listen uncritically to these loudmouths become increasingly ignorant of and resistant to facts and the TRUTH.

4) government propaganda - the major news outlets allowed themselves to become little more than mouthpieces for the government when any story concerns the government. no REAL criticisms or inquiry are ever directed at the government.

in addition, such attitudes and statements on 'the public' reveal the ELITISM of major news outlet journalists and government officials. to them, they are an elite group versus the rest of society. this stems from the following two-part belief:

0.a) they are only ones that have the intelligence and ability both to collect and understand the TRUTH.

sites like Indymedia, the Smoking Gun, Cryptome and Wikileaks, as well as HAM Radio Operators, continue to prove that amateurs are often MORE capable than their major media counterparts.

0.b) they believe that we are incapable of handling the complete TRUTH; that we are not smart or rational enough to understand it.

i believe and have observed that people will respond in a rational manner when ALL of the facts and evidence have been presented. people become angry when they are NOT told the TRUTH.

it is also telling that Urgent Evoke (World Bank) has decided to SMEAR anonymous reporting and whistleblowing with their bashing of CitizenX. they are AFRAID of the TRUTH being told out of their control. anonymous reporting and whistleblowing is a proud and NECESSARY tradition carried on by COURAGEOUS and ETHICAL individuals.

remember, seek the TRUTH!

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