The present type of ambush journalism is legal, because the visitor in the present case is guilty of the charges brought by a journalist who is correct in his assertions. By the way, there’s no harm in the interviewer trying to get the worst out of a bad guy. The case may only have been immoral if the reporter was trying to make the good man look terrible. Moreover, the fact that an ambush journalism maneuver is endorsed by the existing Professional Journalism Ethical Code means that the move is not immoral. According to the presented code, journalists are allowed to implement such strategies to obtain information which could have been difficult to gather through the use of open and traditional means.
Ambush journalism affects the media’s role as a watchdog over the police by acting as a potent tool for advancing the insurgent groups’ agenda. With ambush journalism, the journalists can always bring people to speak out or provide information about crimes in the country which they are always not willing to do in other instances. Therefore, ambush journalism plays a significant role in easing the work of the police since the journalists will always target individuals with an ill motive who do not wish to speak to the media on their free will. As a result, the police will always be informed of potentially hidden crimes which they are always not aware.
Shows such as “To Catch a Predator” makes it impossible for the public to consider the accused as innocent until proven guilty. It is evident that it is a human right for an individual to have a fair trial. However, the shows such as “To Catch a Predator,” the accused are deprived of this right since the ambush journalism process; a person is compelled to confess his/her guilt against his/herself. Apparently, the accused find it difficult to prove innocence since the evidence of guilt is available within the presented scenario. Additionally, the silence of the accused is also regarded as an evidence of guilt thus eliminating the chances of a fair trial.
The presented show, “To Catch a Predator”, does not go against the Society of Professional Journalist’s ethical code. Incidentally, ambush journalism implemented within the show is considered as an important method of yielding information to the public whenever other open and traditional methods would not have met this objective. It is a fact that other traditional and open methods could not have brought the old man who is also the accused in this case to provide vital information to the public. As a result, the show is indeed in line with the provisions of the ethical code governing the journalists’ ethical standards.
I fully support the existence of programming such as “To Catch a Predator” to be aired on various media outlets. Such programs will always make it easier for the media and the police to do their work and investigations. Apparently, such cases are considered simple since the shows contribute in the investigation process by revealing all the necessary evidence needed by the police to establish a case. Furthermore, such shows make it easier for journalist to identify their potential information sources. The fact that they implement ambush journalism techniques to obtain information from persons who are not willing to talk educates the public about the unethical activities likely to be taking place.
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