Tuesday, February 24, 2009

ethics?

The CBC has always been considered the standard of excellence in Canadian broadcasting. Many aspiring journalists look to the examples of Peter Mansbridge, Keith Boag, and others to guide them in their career path. But last night, the CBC lost some of my respect during a broadcast focusing on the Afghan children killed by a Canadian rocket explosion. The camera technician zoomed into a shot of two children lying in a wagon, their faces covered in blood and their bodies mangled.

What gives CBC the right to exploit the grief of the Afghan people, and the families who lost their children? I highly doubt that any one will live to see the day when CBC broadcasts images of bloodied Canadian soldiers killed during war, for the simple reason that it is unethical. Exploiting the grief, and the tragedy of these children's deaths, goes against the most basic framework of journalism ethics; comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable.

In no way does such an image serve the interest of the public, except to shock a nation where the majority of people already oppose the war. By broadcasting images of dead children, it seems to me that the CBC is trying to influence the way in which the Afghan war is perceived by the Canadian public. As an news institution, the CBC should be working to remain as unbiased as possible, rather than showing images that are, I feel, put forth for public consumption for the sole purpose of arousing emotion to drive the public towards a certain viewpoint; that the war is wrong. Whether or not the war is justified is not the question; rather, the CBC's aim in broadcasting these images very nearly points to a desire to influence public thought in a way that is undemocratic, unprofessional, and most importantly, unethical.

1 comment:

  1. man... that's brutal..XO. And they aired it on tv?

    ReplyDelete