Is The Media Making Us Dig Our Own Grave?
by 10isfan77 on April 3, 2015 - 2:01pm
The Talking Climate’s article: “Climate Change Scepticism and the Media” presents readers with the multiple reasons why, despite scientific evidence, some people still remain sceptical about the debate surrounding climate change. The article explains how the media, who is supposed to provide society with clear and simple facts about the topic, has been divided into multiple groups with different views on the matter. The article explains how scepticism is mostly seen in English speaking media and not so much in other languages. Thus, the Talking Climate’s article denounces the current ethical issues with the representation of climate change by the media.
There are several reasons why there is so much debate surrounding the truth behind climate change and if it is actually a myth or not. One of the main reasons why there is so much debate is because of the position media sources take on this subject and this position is largely due to their political views (Talking Climate 1). Left wing sources have a tendency to promote the awareness of climate change whereas right wing sources are more sceptical about the topic, thus making it very difficult for the average citizen to fully understand the issue. This creates an ethical issue regarding the matter, because not only are newspapers supposed to provide the population with the facts, if there are some, but they should not be restricting its readers from knowing the truth about an issue such as climate change even if their personal views do not allow them to believe in this topic.
Despite having the right to an opinion, it is the duty of a media source to provide the population with all the facts and all the different views regarding a current situation. Sadly, many media sources are politically biased which results in a filtering of what they will publish, meaning that if something does not promote the political party they are associated with or the views of their political opinion, the readers are immediately affected and are restricted from receiving the whole truth. Ethically, it remains questionable whether or not the media should be allowed to have its own opinion and publish what their views are or if it is the right of the society to receive all angles on a topic from a media source. Thus, should a media source refrain from keeping the whole truth from its readers or should have to publish all facts in addition to their own opinions? Regardless, there still remains one issue that shows why the media is unethical towards the climate change situation.
Another reason why there is so much debate around climate change is the exaggeration of some media sources regarding climate change (Talking Climate). It has occurred that some sources have taken the scientific fact about climate change and modified it in order to promote their idea or be certain that their story would be published. Once again, in addition to refraining from providing the whole truth to its readers, falsifying scientific evidence and exaggerating it is one of the main causes of the debate surrounding the climate change and promotes the left wing media sources to be sceptical about the topic, since the sources who exaggerate the facts make it seem as if scientific evidence is not to be trusted. As a result, the debate on the climate change escalates and becomes very large due to the lack of ethics in the media regarding the issue.
In order to avoid creating such a conflict over an issue that has been proven scientifically, when faced with an issue that concerns the future and survival of our species, all sources of media should adopt a deontological perspective and think of what should be good for the greatest number. In this particular case, it would be to provide its readers with scientific facts regarding the matter and avoid any type of exaggeration or even, restriction of facts on the matter. Having this ethical idea applied by all sources of media would provide its readers with not only the exact facts and the correct knowledge about the subject, but with the same knowledge, which will reduce the amount of debate surrounding climate change.
Ultimately, it is clear that the negligence of the media regarding the climate change issue has created a debate that has grown very large, but has also prevented a large part of the population to actually understand the current climate change issue and do something in order to allow the survival of the human race. If all media sources were to follow a set of rules inspired by deontological ethics, which is to benefit the greater number instead of the few, maybe the amount of debates regarding other subjects similar to climate change as well as climate change would decrease as well and the population would be able to take all the information provided and create their own opinion on the matter.