Ethics and Gatekeeping in The Media Essay

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Gatekeeping is “controlling access to goods, services, or information, usually applied by individuals or groups in hierarchical organizations. ” (CSA). As it applies to media, gatekeeping refers to the method in which information is filtered for distribution, this can be done through the internet, print or broadcasting. Due to the power that gatekeepers wield in controlling what we as the public read, hear or see, there are many ethical concerns to be considered and liberties to be safeguarded.
Rupert Murdoch is a prime example of a gatekeeper. He is the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of News Corporation. In 2010, News Corporation was the third-largest media conglomerate in terms of revenue, earning $24.73 billion dollars (Semjan & Lermann). In 2011, News Corp. suffered a scandal of ethical proportions when it was revealed that members of the News of the World staff, a paper owned by News Corp. were participating and engaging in illegal phone hacking in order to find stories. It was reported that close to 4000 individuals ranging from sport stars to politicians and celebrities were hacked (BBC). The scandal eventually led to the end of the paper which ceased publication on July 10th 2011. This scandal at News Corp. raises ethical issues of credibility, privacy, trust, and freedom of speech. Murdoch received a lot of blame for the scandal with one of his former top executives saying:
"This scandal and all its implications could not have happened anywhere else. Only in Murdoch's orbit. The hacking at News of the World was done on an industrial scale. More than anyone, Murdoch invented and established this culture in the newsroom, where you do whatever it takes to get the story, take no prisoners, destroy th...

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...v. 2011. .
Lee, Felicia R. "Protesting Demeaning Images in Media - New York Times." The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. 05 Nov. 2007. Web. 04 Nov. 2011. .
Celizic, Mike. "Jersey Shore Stars: "We’re Just Being Ourselves"" 2 Jan. 2010. Web. 04 Nov. 2011. .
McCauley, Gina. "When Did You Give Up On BET? -- Reggie Hudlin Is Still Unrepentant (I'm Shocked!)." What About Our Daughters - What About Our Daughters. 13 July 2007. Web. 04 Nov. 2011. .

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