“When we defend freedom of expression…it doesn’t mean we can censor the expressions that we don’t like. Religion, spiritual, and philosophical questions, should be open to debate.”-Frank La Rue, United Nations special rapporteur on freedom of expression.
The Ethics is about the right way to report the news.
As a reader, I need to know who I am reading and what they are representing in the news.
Who are the hate propagandists?
How are they selling me their hate?
I want to “follow” the hate propagandist and ‘out’ them for who and what they do.
Yet, this knee jerk reaction to hate is as silly as being anonymous because I can do more damage to my opponent.
Propaganda is also a tool used to advertise poor choices or ideas in the mainstream news. Many ideas have an appeal to those who follow or belong to “the group”.
I am increasingly interested in hate spin because it seems to be the strategy used by many groups with an agenda.
I could describe myself as a socially conscious alarmist who will not tolerate any group that uses hate to win an argument or mess up an agenda that an individual or group is using to gain respect and recognition in the community at large.
But this is only true in the worst sense. I am alarmed and I am intolerant of hate. There is a lack of respect for each other and for our groups. We don’t even represent our groups all that well. We need to demonstrate who and what we stand for in a clear manner for all to see.
Hate speech may vilify groups in systematic ways. Whipping up hate for all those who try to uphold shared values and belief does seem unfair at best and criminal at worst.
And there are those who generate contempt on the net, those in media who loose their objectivity to make more content and less news, our own values of fair play seem to work against us when our system seems to fail us. The list of ethical concerns become a burden when the extremes are noted by the socially conscious: dehumanized communities, religious hate, growing complexities, politicians blamed for race hate and the muddy issues in todays waxing and waning global news.
But the truth is still what the journalist will report. And the reader is seeking the truth to all the alarm and intolerance in the news. We all love to hate but to keep our objectivity we must identify it in the news and root it out from the facts. We do represent our respective groups. And regardless of the stakes held by one group or another. We all have the right to debate the question that define the world today. Freedom of expression is alive and well and living in the news today.