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Getting Personal: Editorial Judgment in the Digital Public Square

Page history last edited by Paul Nicholas Santos 6 years, 7 months ago

Title of the Essay:    

     Getting Personal: Editorial Judgement in the Digital Public Square, Jill Geisler, August 10, 2015   


Title of the Reflection:    

     Value Priority 


First Impression:    

     After reading the title, I think that it talks about the effects of judging a person and placing it on the internet.   



     "When it comes to information, anything goes. If it’s true, it’s always newsworthy. If it’s out there anywhere, it’s fair game. If publication causes pain, it’s not a problem. If you choose not to share it, you’re a censor."   


Reflection Proper:   

     The article focuses more on what a person needs to value more when a situation arises that he or she needs to outweigh which one is heavier in terms of his or her values. Although doing some acts, like exposing personal information of other people, are not illegal, it tramples the right to privacy of the person. The issue here is the willingness of the other person to violate another person’s right to privacy for their personal gain, like making their article/ topic trend for a short period of time or for the simple pleasure of it while the other person suffers for the rest of his or her life. After seeing both sides, I can conclude that the person who is spreading the personal information of the other person by writing an article or other means is simply acting out pure selfishness.   

     This is especially true when it comes to people who have access to a lot of people reading their content, like bloggers, journalists, writers, etc… Millions of people access their content and it is a tried and tested way to spread information like wildfire. This will evidently have a social impact on the life of the person whose personal information has been revealed.  

     In the case of the article, the author gave the example of CNN’s experience when Donald Trump shared to the world the number of the evangelist Billy Graham to the public.  When Donald Trump said Graham’s number, CNN bleeped or censored it in order to protect Graham’s privacy.  This shows that CNN values or prioritizes the security of a person more than the main objective of having a business, which is to make money out of the type of business the company is in. They can do that or they are trying to protect their image by protecting others from harm. We cannot tell the intention of CNN by looking at their action. 

     Looking at the ethical standpoint of the issue, if we are going to weigh between fame & money to security and privacy, we should have our values on a higher placement in the hierarchy of what we prioritize in our lives, just like Aristotle’s hierarchy of pleasures. This, however, may vary depending on the person we are referring to since a person may see fame and money as something that is higher in the hierarchy compared to security. Then again, going back to news agencies, like CNN, they are compelled to do their duty upholding ethics into their job of reporting the news to the public. They have to guarantee that the content that they are giving us won’t undermine the rights and security of other people, that they are not biased towards a certain party. 

     To end my essay, I would like to point out the main point of my paper, which is priority towards the values, which, in the case of CNN, would be between money and fame and security and privacy, that we live by. In the end, we must understand and differentiate what values will be to our advantage in the long run.  


5 Things I’ve learned:   

  1. With the ulterior motive to ruin a specific person's day, Donald Trump released the number of Bill Graham to the public during a televised public speech. 
  2. Some news agencies, like CNN, censored what Donald did in order to protect the privacy of Bill Graham. 
  3. Some people exploit the media in order to harass other people. A good example of this would be the act done by Donald Trump during his public speech while in front of the camera. 
  4. Some people prioritize money and fame over security. 
  5. Media is the best way to send information, whether it may be good or bad. 


5 Integrative Questions:  

  1. Is there a way for media to rate people on how safe it is to report them on air based on what they said on previous encounters, like interviews for example? 
  2. Is there a way for media people to screen what they are about to air on the media? 
  3. How can we better protect other people from harassment and exploitation of the media? 
  4. IS there a way for us to know what a person prioritizes in his life? 
  5. Is there a faster way to take down unwanted material? 


 There are 809 words in this paper.


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