While in class today, we went through two different newspapers in order to see which articles we (as groups) thought were more important than other articles. It was interesting to see how the different groups analyzed the articles to judge which ones should be on which pages. Some people thought about the community that would be reading the articles, while other groups thought about what they would want to read in the newspaper. It made me realize how difficult it would be to be an editor to choose the layout or a reporter to go through the decision of writing an article that may not by ethically right. Reporters are faced with the challenge of deciding whether or not an article is ethically right to write about and publish within their community. They sometimes fight the battle of whether they should publish a piece that could ruin someone’s life or not report the news that the public deserves to know. An activity such as this one could be used in a classroom with older students to help them see the decision making process that goes in to the news articles they read everyday. Students could then write their own articles for a writing assignment where they could judge if they are writing an ethically right piece.
“If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed” Benjamin Franklin (1730)
This was the second quote our group had that we decided not to share with the class. I believe that his statement is very true. It seems as though that with any article or story there will be someone with an opposing point of view. It is important for students to understand this because almost everything they will read or write may have someone who has a different point of view and does not want them to publish their work. For an activity with older students, you could do the same sort of activity that we did with the different situations and deciding whether or not they should be published based on ethical reasons. It would be difficult to do this in an elementary school setting because the students may not understand the concept of being ethical.