Essays on Ethical Issues of News Corporation - Al Jazeera Case Study

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The paper "Ethical Issues of News Corporation - Al Jazeera" is a good example of a business case study.   The global society in recent years has witnessed unprecedented and rapid changes in economy, polity, and society. These changes have led to widespread transformations in the mass media system throughout the world. While there has been remarkable growth in its influence, reach and scale, there has not been corresponding sensitivity towards media's non-market and non-commercial dimensions. With regard to media companies, this is of utmost importance as media in a democracy holds the privilege of being the fourth estate.

It is a key component in a society that has been vested with the duties of keeping the public informed and thus shaping perceptions through its reportage and allied activities. Technological revolution and increased literacy levels during the last two decades has furthermore enhanced its centrality and thereby the impact on consumption, processing, dissemination and generation of news (Ansari). Today media devices and platforms that are consumed vary between experimental, non-conventional and traditional instruments and they span digital modes, traditional print and audio-visual modes. Through the incorporation of technology across these platforms and convergence between telecom, entertainment and media has led to an erosion of the demarcation that set all the three apart.

This is one reason why ethical issues confront media more than anything today as they did in the past. Earlier media was simply meant to inform 4Ws (Who, Where, When, and Why) and H (How) to the public, but now it has assumed the soft power aspect of organizations, businesses and even nations. This is termed as media entrepreneurship which is considered as an important tool for any individual, political party or a growing enterprise bent upon generating private gain by leveraging public influence. On the global media scene two companies that have gained considerable public attention in as far as ethical issues are concerned are News Corporation and Al Jazeera. Ethical issues of News Corporation News Corporation is a New York-based diversified mass media corporation which is known for creating and disseminating top-quality general and sports news and entertainment throughout the world.

News Corporation is the number two media group in the world in terms of revenue and stands at the third number as an entertainment company according to a 2009 report.

Walt Disney stands at the first number in terms of revenue. Rupert Murdoch and members of his family control the company, which is publicly traded and listed on NASDAQ. Some of its popular holdings include The Wall Street Journal, Fox News and Twentieth Century Fox, News Limited, Fox Broadcasting Company, News International, HarperCollins Publishers, and the Dow Jones & Company and it's subsidiary. News Corporation has been facing many challenges particularly since 2011 which, say, critics, are to some extent their own in the making either through deliberate but wrong actions or through specific inactions involving potential legal and ethical issues.

Bloom (2011), a media critic, has argued that most of News Corporation's problems stem from its code of ethics titled Standards of Business Conduct, a 60-page booklet, littered with warning signs specifically for those who have an ability to see. The lid off its ethical issues was blown last year and as soon as it did, its stock prices nose-dived thus affecting the conglomerate in the short term.

The illegal and unethical behaviour was pertaining to News of the World, its British publication. The publication was alleged to have been involved in a hacking scandal. The allegation had first been made in 2009 but not pursued seriously. Following the 2011 investigation, even as the stocks plummeted and then rebounded back, News Corporation's leadership stood being questioned.

Works cited

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Ansari, M.H. (2011). Retrieved http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/article2230638.ece. Accessed October 01, 2012.

Associated Press. (2004). Rumsfeld: Al-Jazeera Is Causing Deaths. Retrieved http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,110643,00.html. Accessed October 01, 2012.

Al Jazeera. (n.d.). Code of Ethics. Retrieved http://www.aljazeera.com/aboutus/2006/11/2008525185733692771.html. Accessed October 01, 2012.

Bloom, L. (2011). News Corporation’s problems are reflected in its code of ethics. Retrieved http://www.thebusinessethicsblog.com/news-corporations-problems-are-reflected-in-its-code-of-ethics. Accessed October 01, 2012.

BBC News. (2012). Q&A: News of the World phone-hacking scandal. Retrieved http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11195407. Accessed October 01, 2012.

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Irish Times. (2012). News Corporation shares pose an ethical dilemma. Retrieved http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/finance/2012/0810/1224321890203.html. Accessed October 01, 2012.

Kenneth, L. (2010). "Alwaleed backs James Murdoch". Financial Times (Pearson PLC).

Linn, A. (2011). News Corp. hit with more allegations of ethical problems. Retrieved http://bottomline.nbcnews.com/_news/2011/10/13/8292097-news-corp-hit-with-more-allegations-of-ethical-problems?lite. Accessed October 01, 2012.

Ricchiardi, S. (2011). "The Al Jazeera Effect". American Journalism Review. Retrieved http://ajr.org/Article.asp?id=5077. Accessed October 01, 2012.

Tingle, Laura & Daley, (2012). Gemma Federal Police Join News Probe, The Financial Review 28 March 2012.

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