False Accusations and Media Ethics

A group comprised of educators at all levels were engaged in a robust discussion on LinkedIn on the topic of false accusations, inaccurate reporting and the devastating negative impact such false accusations have on the accused, even when the accusations were recounted.  They believe that there seems to be a proliferation of such accusations in the field of education.

The following  is my contribution to the discussion.

False accusations and misrepresentation of one’s character should be discouraged by all leaders in any field. The media has a big role in perpetuating and sensationalizing gossip and unfounded or unverified information as was recently exemplified by the Rolling Stone magazine’s apology for printing one side of a story without the due investigatory diligence that encompasses contacting all involved parties prior to printing the information. As consumers of all forms of media, all of us are responsible for holding the media accountable for the information they print by asking the reporters if the information was verified. Bloggers should not blog about any news until they have verified the information as well because blogs keeps the unverified rumor alive. Citizens should have a right to ask Google and all search engines to remove negative and unverified information from the web. The United Kingdom has an established process to request the removal of negative information from the web’s search engines. United States and other countries should follow suit. Otherwise, the media continues to wield too much power, and to invade the privacy of everyday citizens.


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