Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Lying & Omission

Is deception by the media every justified? First of all, what exactly is deceitful? Is withholding the truth deceitful? To withhold the truth is a little different than outright lying. The media is never justified in outright and flat out lying. However, withholding truths of facts may, from time to time, be. For example, I believe that in the film "Absence of Malice" that we watched in class Megan would have been justified in withholding the information about Teresa.

Another example would be the Government's response to any hostile action by China. I'm sure that the plans in place should not be revealed to public. If somehow related information were to be leaked to a reporter or someone in the media, it would probably be best if the media recognized the importance of omission and did not report the information.

Yes, omission may be justified. But that does not mean under any circumstances. And when omission is performed, then the media needs to take care not to omit part of a story and tell the other part. Sometimes it might be better to omit the whole thing instead of part and give a false perception. To give such a false perception would be against the media’s purpose and ethics, even if what they reported was completely truth. Purposeful deception in the form of lies or other fictionalized claims or stories are not justified.

As for China, that's actually developing into an interesting story, one which my roommates and I sit around and talk about on a regular basis. Apparently the Pentagon Called Beijing a Potential Threat and there's the (Today actually) article on China Threatening Taiwan. And yes, the U.S. has actually discussed possible reactions to various situations.

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